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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Not just a truck

Be prepared

Come in

Keeping it cool

Linking up

Wires everywhere

4G LTE

4G LTE

Voice and 3G

Staying on

Cables

Drive time

NEW ORLEANS--If you passed it on the freeway, you might think this was an ordinary Verizon Wireless truck on its way to maintain equipment. Look a little closer, however, and you'll see this is a different kind of vehicle. Known as a COLT (cell on light truck), it's actually a fully contained cell site that can be driven to almost anywhere in the country in a matter of hours. Verizon can deploy one of its 100 COLTs to a disaster-stricken area to boost the carrier's network for residents and emergency workers. On either side of the cab are antennas that can reach 60 feet tall.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
Hans Leutdenegger, Verizon's regional vice president of network, described the carrier's initiatives for disaster preparedness. And in a city devastated by Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, he reminded us that the 2012 hurricane season begins June 1.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
You enter the COLT through a door on the driver's side.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
Two air-conditioning units keep the inside comfortable cool. Indeed, it felt great on a humid New Orleans day.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
The equipment immediately inside the door is used to establish a link between the COLT and Verizon's network.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
Even in a wireless world, it takes a lot of wires to power the network.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
This locked cabinet houses the needed equipment for powering the carrier's 4G LTE network.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
Here's a look inside the door.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
In the next cabinet you'll find the equipment for the 2G voice and 3G EV-DO data networks.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
For power, the COLT has 18 batteries (pictured here) and a generator that can last three days.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
Thick cables connect the batteries and generators to the network equipment.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
The cab seats two people, but only one person is needed to operate the COLT.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
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