HAL Communications, a subsidiary of Barrett Communications, has announced its development of its MB5100/2K High Frequency (HF: three megahertz/MHz to 30MHz) Radio Mailbox which the company claims to be the “first fully synchronised system for the delivery of email over HF radio links,” according to a press release announcing the news.

The company adds that the MB5100/2K, which is currently in production, was developed in response to a demand from customers for a mechanism by which they could send and receive emails using their existing email provider on their smartphone, tablet or laptop (platform), but using an HF radio link, “in much the same way as they can use the public WiFi in a public café or their own office.”

Another important aspect of the MB5100/2K design is that it is agnostic regarding the user’s platform and email account. This design philosophy has been adopted to enable someone, “who is merely adept at using their personal device and has no specialist communications skills to send and receive emails from a remote location over HF.”

The MB5100/2K includes the firm’s proprietary HAL IMAP Mailbox software, which, “provides the mail synchronisation capability that in legacy systems is located at a remote server.”

The HF radio is connected to the Internet which allows it to connect to the email server, while the IMAP Mailbox works as an Internet gateway, synchronises with the email server and allows the sending and receiving of email traffic: “This is then held by the mailbox until it is accessed by the user device.” One of the attractions of the IMAP Mailbox and MB5100/2K is that, despite using an HF radio link “To the user it looks and feels like being on a conventional broadband network.”

Thomas Withington


HAL Communications’ MB5100/2K allows email traffic to be handled across an HF radio network using a laptop, smartphone or tablet device. (HAL Communications)

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