It looks like thefinally has some competition in the mainstream tech arena: the Kyocera KR1 Mobile Router powered by D-Link. The box serves as a cellular router, allowing for Ethernet or Wi-Fi access to a group of people anywhere you can get a consistent 3G cellular signal. Aside from the Kyocera router, you'll need an EV-DO card (or an EV-DO USB phone) and a 3G data network account available from service providers such as Verizon. Simply plug in the phone or the card, configure your security and firewall settings, and you have a local Wi-Fi hot spot for both wireless and wired devices. The KR1 Mobile Router powered by D-Link has wired LAN support via four 10/100BaseT Ethernet ports and supports both 802.11b and 802.11g wireless clients.
Though the Kyocera KR1 Mobile Router powered by D-Link isn't as eye-catching as the lime-green Junxion Box, it's also neither as large nor as boxy. Looking more like a traditional router, it has several indicator LEDs (power, status, WAN, LAN, Wi-Fi), a single antenna, and a slot for an EV-DO PC card, as well as a USB port for an EV-DO USB phone. This last feature will allow you to use your phone as a modem, something that the Junxion Box can't do so far.
The most obvious use for the Kyocera KR1 Mobile Router powered by D-Link is for mass transit or mobile work and/or emergency teams, but with a suggested retail price of about $300, it has some potential for the SOHO environment, as well. The current batch of 1xEV-DO Rev 0 cards allow for quick downloads but slow uploads, which puts a limit on the number of people who can use it for operations more taxing than e-mail or Web surfing. But the router is easily updated for future EV-DO releases, such as Rev A, which will allow for faster data transfers in both directions.
So far, the Kyocera KR1 Mobile Router powered by D-Link looks promising, but we'll put it through the paces at CNET Labs when we can get our hands on one. It should be on store shelves by the end of January.