CBA250 Cellular BroadBand Adapter - 3G/EVDO/HSDPA cellular to ethernet network adapter

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Monday, 08 December 2008

The successor to the CBA250, Cradlepoint's CBA750, is now available! Read more about the CBA750 here

CBA250 Cellular BroadBand Adapter - 3G/EVDO/HSDPA cellular to ethernet network adapter

Cradlepoint's Cellular Broadband Adapter - CBA250
Cradlepoint's Cellular Broadband Adapter - CBA250 has the CBA250 on sale! Check out the latest sale info on the CBA250

Cradlepoint Technologies has provided us with several high-quality cellular routers designed from the ground up to allow its users to share a cellular broadband data connection with multiple users/computers via wireless WiFi or wired ethernet connection.

Cradlepoint's latest offering is the new "Cellular BroadBand Adapter" CBA250 -- a unique product that we believe is NOT suited to the same audience that their earlier cellular routers were made for. First of all, the CBA250 does NOT have any wireless/wifi capabilities at all, and will only provide connectivity to ONE attached device/computer. If you are looking for a router that allows more than one computer to share a cellular connection, check out the rest of Cradlepoint's great product line-up like the MBR1000, CTR500, PHS300 or CTR350.

Cradlepoint's CBA250 is going to cause a lot of confusion because it is a cellular router, and it isn't a cellular router, depending on the position of its "I/O' switch. With the switch on (the "I" position), the CBA250 will "adapt" cellular connectivity from a USB modem or expresscard into an ethernet connection that specialized industrial and commercial equipment can use to access the internet with a "public-facing" IP address. All equipment that connects through the CBA250 can be addressed remotely by the public IP address the cellular device obtains from the carrier's network, just as if that same equipment were attached to conventional IP from any wired ISP.

With the switch off (the "O" position), the CBA250 will provide a limited-featureset version of web admin found on its other routers, but the CBA250 is not intended to compete with any of the true routers offered by Cradlepoint like the flagship MBR1000 or the more portable CTR500, PHS300 and CTR350. Instead, the CBA250's target audience are the many applications where "routing" isn't desired at all, and "drop-in networking" is what the customer is after.

Many businesses have equipment designed to operate with a "conventional" internet connection via wired technology like DSL/cable/T-1 line, but growth into some rural markets has occured rapidly, and many of these areas do not have proper IP infrastructure in place to offer conventional wired connectivity. In some instances where conventional wired connectivity is available, there may be unbelievable time-to-install schedules that are months behind the planned equipment deployment/launch. Without wired connectivity, how are these business supposed to connect their equipment to the internet?

Thankfully, mobile broadband options like Sprint and Verizon's EVDO service, have expanded coverage like wildfire into many areas where wired infrastucture is years away, if that. The new challenge? The specialized equipment that needs to be connected to the internet uses proprietary operating systems that will not recognize or support a cellular USB modem or "aircard", and writing support for that ever-evolving technology is just not feasible. What these businesses need is a device that bridges /converts / adapts the cellular USB modem and makes available an ethernet connection their equipment can readily take advantage of.

What about all these cellular routers that are already available on the market? What about all those other models from Cradlepoint themselves?

Research has shown that there are enough specialized applications that require no "routing" at all in order to work properly. "Port forwarding", "DMZ" and "DDNS" features of existing cellular routers, just haven't fit the bill well enough for many commercial applications -- thus we now have the CBA250.

We'll be writing up articles that explain many applications the CBA250 are best suited for. Among those applications are:

  • Emergency/backup connectivity
  • POS / point of sale / retail or informational kiosks
  • Power, Water, Environmental utility sensors and monitors
  • industrial automation and monitoring
  • HVAC monitoring and support
  • Temporary / Field installations
  • Traffic surveillance, monitoring and control
  • Homebound medical patient monitoring
  • On-site security video surveillance
  • Remote Device Management
  • Building Automation and Security

If you are looking for a router that will allow you to have MULTIPLE computers share the internet connection that your Sprint, Verizon, Alltel, AT&T USB modem or aircard provides, the Cradlepoint CBA250 is NOT LIKELY to be the router you want! Take a look at the MBR1000, CTR500, PHS300 or CTR350 since these routers all feature WiFi radios to easily allow multiple computers to share the internet connectivity.

If you are IT staff tasked with finding a way to get your companies specialized equipment online using cellular modems, the CBA250 is VERY LIKELY to be the answer you have been looking for!

Cradlepoint's Cellular Broadband Adapter - CBA250
Cradlepoint's CBA250 with Sprint EX720 EVDO ExpressCard providing internet connectivity via ethernet cable to the Tieline Commander G3 (used for studio-to-transmitter links and audio contribution)

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 July 2010 )
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