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View Full Version : An update to the AirPort Extreme Base Station


Jalexster
Jun 30, 2004, 07:43 AM
The AirPort Extreme Base Station is not very popular these days, with AirPort Express coming soon. In comparison it has nothing that makes it that much better than AirPort Express.
It does have an Internal Modem, Dual Ethernet, and an Antenna Port. As well as support for 50 users, instead of 10. It could do with some new features:
It could do with a price drop (to $150)
The Internal Modem could be replaced with Data/Fax/Voice Modem, so you could not only connect to the internet with it, but you could also send faxes wirelessly, and even make and answer ohone calls from your Mac.

For instance, it would be great if you could send faxes without having to plug your Mac into a phone line everytime you want to send one. What's the point of having the fax feature, if you have to be tied to a phone socket to use it? Being able to send them through AirPort Extreme would be great!

As for voice calls, well, it would mean that if you were say, siting in your favorite armchair in your Living Room, working on your PowerBook or iBook, and the phone rang, you wouldn't have to stop what you were doing, get up, and go get the phone (yes there are cordless phones, but you don't carry one around the house in a pocket, do you?). Instead, you could see who was calling on your Mac's screen, it could even tell you thier name, by getting the Caller ID number, and checking the number with your Address Book.
You could then answer the call, and talk with the person with your PowerBook or iBook's inbuilt Microphone.
You could then make anouther phone call to someone else, just by clicking a Dial button in the adress book, next to thier phone numbers. I think there is a similar system if you have a Bluetooth phone, but this would work with your standard phone line.

How do these ideas sound? I'd aprecciate any input or ideas.
(It would be great if this was in Tiger)

garybUK
Jun 30, 2004, 09:18 AM
The easiest way to get voice over wireless is VoIP (Voice over IP) it would be great if they built a VoIP gateway into the airport and use the modem as a PSTN interface.

The trouble with doing this over wireless is when you get a few people on the same wireless connection, the voice quality will drop, theres needs to be QOS implemented (QOS = Quality Of Services, like a reserved bandwidth for voice).

I Agree that all the airport products are overpriced and have relatively few features compared to some that are on the market.

i dont know where you are physically but here in the uk, BT are replacing the entire PSTN network with IP based networks for voice and everything, this is the future and would be good for apple to embrace it.

mkrishnan
Jun 30, 2004, 12:02 PM
I think it would be better for them to move it upmarket too, rathern than lower the price. And a focus on more office-oriented features, letting the Express take up the consumer market.

Any additional functionality for the modem port would be great. Expanding the usefulness of the USB port (esp. adding support for scanners), or adding a firewire port and management of FW hd's or something like that would be cool.

How about adding support for a display plugged into the AEBS, to which video could be streamed? The tech exists (viz. 802.11b LCD and DLP projectors). If the display could be a big plasma unit or a TV, there might be some interesting uses for that.

It could do with 4 integrated wired ports like most 802.11g non-apple routers too, although that wouldn't be anything huge, since you can already get that for $30, minus the modem, wireless printing and some of the WPA options, natch.