In February when Wilson Electronics officially rebranded as weBoost, we were thrilled to discover some exciting new products listed as "coming soon" on the newly launched website.
In particular - the Drive 4G-XR (RV) package excited us. At last, an LTE cellular booster bundle designed with RVs in mind - featuring a new roof-mounted RV antenna design that would not need a metal ground plane, and an interior antenna offering greater interior boosted coverage range!
Wilson first teased about this kit as coming by the end of the year (2014) last June. With it appearing prominently labeled as "coming soon" on the new weBoost site, at last perhaps it was becoming real.
But in making my regular scans for new products last week, I noticed that the weBoost RV and Marine packages have now actually been removed from the weBoost product page. Though the old direct links still work, without them there is no information about RV or Marine packaged available on the public weBoost site at all.
It was as if the Drive 4G-XR never existed.
Was the product canceled? What about the new LTE-friendly RV antenna that the kit was going to come with?
I checked in with weBoost support, and was told:
"Yes, it appears that there will be a (new) antenna then, but that kit is likely to be another year out or so."
That is an awfully long time to wait.
The Drive 4G-X - Delayed, But Coming Soon
The heart of the Drive 4G-XR bundle seems to be the new Drive 4G-X booster, which is billed as a more powerful booster than the current weBoost Drive 4G-M.
Though the full 4G-XR RV bundle is delayed - it seems that the basic 4G-X package is still slated to begin shipping soon, with the stock small magnetic car-roof antenna bundled by default.
We were initially told by weBoost support to expect the Drive 4G-X to ship in March or April, but that date appears to have slipped - potentially due to FCC testing delays. The weBoost website still lists the Drive 4G-X as "Coming Soon" without a ship date, but 3GStore's listing now lists May 7th as a target release date.
The list price of the Drive 4G-X has also now been set - $479.99. This is $100 more than the Drive 4G-M, and $280 more than the cradle-style Drive 4G-S.
On paper the 4G-M and the 4G-X have very similar specs, but the 4G-X is described as having a "superior ability to pick up the signal from distant towers".
Will the Drive 4G-X be worth waiting for? Spending more on? Upgrading to?
Will RVers immediately want to ditch the stock exterior antenna for something better? What antenna options are there that will work well with all the frequency bands the 4G-X supports?
We'll let you know our thoughts on the Drive 4G-X as soon as we get one for testing. We are looking forward to hearing first hand reports from others too.
Where Are The New Boosters?
weBoost isn't the only cellular booster manufacturer facing delays bringing new products to market. Maximum Signal's Max Amp has also been struggling to clear all the certification hurdles prior to launch.
The latest tease on the Maximum Signal website:
Max Amp Mobile and Max Amp Mobile RV have been approved, stay tuned for pre-sale date in the next few weeks. *Pricing not established yet.
These delays leave many RVers struggling to decide - wait for something better, or get something now?
For those who can't wait - there are still some closeout deals on older Wilson-branded boosters to be had. But if you can wait, it is probably worth delaying a big booster tech purchase to see how this new crop of next-generation cellular signal boosters shapes up.
As always - we will keep our Resource Center article on cellular boosters always up to date with the information on all the cellular booster that we know about.