The portable hot spot arrives

Last Thursday’s New York Times has a story about Junxion Box, a device that lets you set up a mobile multi-user internet connection anywhere you can receive data cellular (mobile phone) service.

The NYT’s report says that the device, about the size of a shoebox cover, uses a cellular modem card from a wireless phone carrier to create a wi-fi hot spot that lets dozens of people connect to the internet.

On the face of it, such a gadget could present quite a competitive threat to mobile phone companies. Using a mobile phone network for internet access tends to be expensive so having a gadget that permits multiple users on a single account would likely be highly appealing to many companies.

Imagine – you’re a sales manager and you meet up with a half dozen members of your field sales team at an offsite location, no wi-fi anywhere, so you whip out your Junxion Box and get everyone connected for sending those sales reports, accessing the intranet, etc.

Then again, such a product could also present some interesting marketing and pricing opportunities for mobile phone companies.

From the product specifications, it looks as though you could expect comparable throughput connectivity as with 802.11b wi-fi, all other things being equal, although I guess everything would depend on the speed and quality of the cellular connection.

Still, a very Interesting development. It’s currently available only in the US. No word from Seattle-based Junxion Box as to when this might be available in Europe. You can sign up on their website to get an email newsletter with news. Guys! Come on! RSS!