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AT&T's new cell tower can fit in a suitcase, help restore networks after natural disasters

Amar Toor, @amartoo
04.25.11
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Whenever a natural disaster strikes, phone companies are typically forced to patch up their own networks with fleets of trucks that serve as temporary cell towers. It's a process that involves plenty of manpower and, most importantly, plenty of time. AT&T has a more portable solution: a cell tower small enough to fit into a suitcase. The company's new Remote Mobility Zone is comprised of an antenna and accompanying satellite dish, both of which can handle up to 14 simultaneous calls placed within a half-mile radius. Any AT&T phone can connect to the makeshift system, which will sell for anywhere between $15,000 and $45,000 (plus some monthly fees), though emergency workers will need a generator to get it up and running. They'll also have to live without 3G data, which sounds like a reasonable compromise to us.

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