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Preparing a wireless network for the worst

When disaster strikes, Verizon Wireless can deploy a mobile cell site to boost network coverage in the affected area.

Verizon's portable cell site includes a load of equipment, a generator, and two 60-foot antennas. Kent German/CNET

NEW ORLEANS--Seven years after it last visited New Orleans and almost seven years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, CTIA has returned to The Crescent City. And as the 2012 Hurricane season approaches on June 1, Verizon Wireless uses the trade show to show how it is preparing for future disasters.

We've already seen a Verizon Super Switch that can withstand a Category 5 hurricane, but this time Big Red showed a cell on light truck, or COLT. Inside a seemingly normal truck is a fully contained cell site with power for up to three days.

Verizon can send a COLT to an area affected by a disaster in a number of hours. Once there it can power the carrier's 4G, 3G, and voice networks and can run off its own power for up to three days. Take a peek inside for a closer look.

For more on CTIA, see CNET's full coverage.