Finally No Wires! Guide To Using an EVDO Internet Access Card & Router for Trade Shows

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A Guide describing EVDO Internet access, how its used currently and how it can be used to potentially save trade show exhibitors thousands of dollars when compared to renting access through traditional channels.

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In February 2006 D-Link, a well known router company, and Kyocera, a well known cell phone products manufacturer, launched a product that will revolutionize how trade show exhibitors will gain access to broadband Internet access.

In most cases exhibitors didn't have many options when it came to Internet access at trade shows, in fact there was really only one. You either rented it from the show production company or went without. At some shows the daily access rate was $500 or more. Now there is an option. In the past year wireless access through cellular phone systems has increased at a staggering rate and that access is now available in a format that can be shared by multiple users.

The technology is called EVDO and this is what cellular carriers Verizon Wireless and Sprint use to distribute a wireless broadband signal to its subscribers. A typical setup includes an account with one of these providers, a laptop and an access card that plugs into the PC card slot or PCMCIA Slot. This setup was fine if only one user wanted access, but what if you wanted to create a wired or wireless network?

This is where the “revolution” takes place...the EVDO router. This router, available at

Kyocera and at D-Link in the near future, enable you to take the access card and share it via a wired or wireless access. Similar technologies existed before this router came out, but they weren't billed as affordable options. The Kyocera EVDO Router has a street price of $250 - $300. These are the items you will need in order to use this technology.

Internet Access Account - $60-$100 per month* - Verizon Wireless or Sprint

EVDO PC Card - $50-$200**

EVDO Router - $250-$300***

Total - $1740-$2900 - based on 24 Months of Service

*see service provider’s websites for details and offers.

**see service provider’s websites for details and offers.

***see hardware provider’s websites for details and offers.

Currently, most service providers require you to sign a 24 month contract for both a phone and Internet access to get their lowest rate so please check to see if service (Verizon Coverage, Sprint Coverage) and what plans are available in your area. The total cost of 24 months of service and hardware can be equal to what one company pays for access at one show so you can see the incredible value. You also have the use of a technology that enables you to have access to the Internet 24/7/365 without the need of any wires.

When EVDO is coupled with state-of-the-art portable batteries then the technology can be used in ways never imagined. Imagine strapping on a framed camping backpack that has a portable battery, laptop, and an EVDO card plugged into the EVDO router. Also plugged into the router is a web-cam that has been attached to a helmet that is on your head. You now have a wireless, portable, go anywhere webcasting solution. Couple this setup with a wireless bluetooth headset that plugs into an EVDO phone (specialized phone that can be used with the router) and now you can provide interactive tours of the show floor with two-way communication that is broadcast back to a website. Other uses include POS systems and credit card authorization systems.

The way I see it, EVDO will not only save thousands of exhibitors’ money but it has created a new level of connectivity for our industry. It will also be used to create a whole new category of trade show experiences and for me that is the most exciting part!

Founded in 2003, A Smash Hit! Trade Show Displays is a leading Internet distributor of trade show display booth, and exhibit products primarily servicing North America. As a wholesaler we can offer display products at half the price as local suppliers. We offer full graphics design, printing and can work on displays as small as tabletop units to larger island style displays.

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Evan Owen
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