Zebra Technologies helps companies cut the cables to their wireless solutions with dual radios

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Industrys  first mobile printers with dual radios make the migration to truly wireless  real-time operations smoother and more affordable

Zebra Technologies, the  global provider of on-demand printing solutions, has extended its leadership  position in wireless on-demand printing by introducing the industrys first  mobile printers with dual radios.

Many users of 802.11b wireless local  area networks (WLANs) have used cables in the past to serve as a back-up  solution if the network went down or if an associate walked out of range of  the network. Now, with the introduction of dual-radio support in Zebra mobile  printers, users can opt for Bluetooth technology to serve as a back-up  connection with their handheld devices. This alternate means of local  communication can offer a distinct advantage in applications where mobile  printing of receipts or labels are critical to operations, such as car rental  returns or retail price markdowns.

Two radios in one printer ensures  mobile printing applications are always up and running, even when the wireless  network is unavailable, said Bob Danahy, Zebras director of global mobile  and wireless technology. Zebra engineered the dual-radio mobile printing  solution in response to a key customer challenge. Its a good example of Zebra  delivering robust printing solutions that help customers achieve their  business goals. Were proud to be the first to bring this innovation to  market.

Customers with a large installed base of Bluetooth handheld  devices also can benefit from this new feature. These users can now take  advantage of WLAN communications in their mobile applications, without  replacing their entire installed base of handheld devices. 

The  printer can communicate with the Bluetooth handheld and act as an intermediary  to the network, to allow for real-time information capture. Many mobile  employees are now docking their handheld devices to connect to the network and  update pricing or database information at the beginning and end of their work  day, and then communicating via Bluetooth or cable to the printer during the  shift, said Danahy. Zebras new dual radio printer models enable these users  to access their applications in real-time and to communicate with the network  throughout the shift without replacing their Bluetooth  handhelds.

Dual radio mobile printers are equipped with one Bluetooth  radio to communicate with handhelds in the field, and an 802.11b radio to  communicate with the companys WLAN. This dual radio utilisation makes the  wireless printing solution more reliable than implementations where  damage-prone and costly cables are used as a backup.

Zebras dual radio  option will be available on Zebras RW 420 and QL Plus series of mobile  printers in the United States, Canada and Europe, and will feature a Bluetooth  radio and a Symbol Compact Flash 802.11b radio. The lower-power-consuming  Bluetooth radio can be used for the majority of tasks, while the greater  power-demanding 802.11b can be used for periodic, less frequent updates with  the WLAN.

For more information about Zebras wireless connectivity or  other business improvement solutions featuring Zebra products please visit  www.zebra.com.

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