03/30/2010

License plate frame antenna keeps communication discrete

Mobile Mark antenna is also a multi-band unit

By Scott M. Bruner
PoliceOne Product Editor

At March's IWCE show in Las Vegas, there were a number of new and compelling products in the world of communications. One that was certain to catch some attention was a new antenna from Mobile Mark. The antenna manufacturer has just released the License Plate Frame Antenna – a covert antenna hidden inside a license plate frame.

The License Plate Frame Antenna is specifically designed to camouflage its wireless radio communications. It accommodates several multiple antennas into one hidden antenna.

"We're always interested in making antennas less obvious without drilling holes," Eleanor Sylvan, Mobile Mark's vice president of marketing said. "This antenna was created when our engineers were playing around with different ways to covertly locate an antenna that included enough exposure to the sky for GPS, enough space to accommodate the antenna elements, and that wasn't shielded by metal."

The elements of the antenna are all concealed within the frame, invisible to the naked eye. There are a number of configurations for the antenna, including a two-cable model that covers GPS and cellular bands.

The three cable model covers GPS, cellular, and WiFi. The three-cable can also be used to cover public safety 4.9 GHz networks in place of WiFi. The gain figures for this antenna series are 2.5 dBi gain for cellular, 2 dBi gain for WiFi, and 5 dBi gain (26 dB Amplifier) for GPS. The antenna can also be configured in one or two cable configurations to cover UHF and cellular, but not GPS, or to only cover UHF.

Mobile Mark has designed the License Plate Frame Antenna to fit on a vehicle as quickly as possible – each band has a separate cable and RF connector and various cable lengths are available. The antenna can be mounted on both the front and back of a vehicle, and a version with LED lighting will also be released in the next month.

According to Mobile Mark, there are a number of law enforcement applications the License Plate Frame Antenna can be used for, including any situation where remaining inconspicuous is essential..

"For security or undercover operations, the antenna is a natural. It can be used whenever the user doesn't want anyone to know there's a wireless application [on the vehicle]," Sylvan said.

The License Plate Frame Antenna lists for $157, and there will be new models released throughout 2010.

Established in 1984, Mobile Mark, Inc. is a leading supplier of antennas to wireless companies throughout the world. You can find them on the web at http://www.mobilemark.com.

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