Sierra Wireless launches 4G/5G critical comms vehicle router
Sierra Wireless has unveiled a new 5G-capable vehicle router which it says is the industry’s first multi-network 5G vehicle networking solutions for mission-critical applications, including use by first responders, field service and transportation.
The AirLink MG90 5G platform leverages 4G networks and will automatically connect to 5G networks as they become available, with the ability to switch between networks in less than a second to maintain connectivity in fast-moving vehicles, the company said. Sierra added that it is “partnering with carriers to ensure the success of the 5G ecosystem and working with them on certifications as they roll out 5G networks” and added that the router will be certified on FirstNet, the U.K.’s ESN and other carrier networks as they roll out.
The solution will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2021 and is available for trials starting in December. Sierra promises an easy upgrade path from previous MG90 models, saying that the 5G-capable vehicle router has the same form factor and fit.
Tom Mueller, VP of enterprise networking product for Sierra, said that the company plans to support a full portfolio of 5G products. The new MG90 5G, he said, “tackles the toughest challenges where 5G matters most, enabling high-definition applications like remote triage for paramedics, live video streaming for law enforcement and improved Wi-Fi services for transit riders—all while switching seamlessly from network to network as the vehicles moves.”
The vendor highlighted two of its early customers for the new router: Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and EarthCam, which provides construction and virtual tourism cameras.
Ashley Burrows, who is ESN project manager for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue, said that the agency uses the routers “to transform the cab of an emergency vehicle into a remote office, providing us with the ability to have accurate and timely mission critical data communications remotely available at operational events to mitigate risk to DFRS staff and the communities that we serve.
“We’re looking forward to the added speed and functionality that 5G will enable,” Burrows added.
EarthCam’s Brian Cury, founder and CEO of the company, said that EarthCam introduced multi-network 5G options for its entire line of construction and virtual tourism cameras recently, based on Sierra Wireless’ solution.
“5G makes it possible to deliver an almost unlimited amount of visual data from the jobsite,” Cury said. “It sets the stage for the next generation of solutions to transfer Gigapixel RAW archive files to further the art of cinematic time-lapse. We’re very proud to be able to deliver another breakthrough for our clients who want forward-thinking technology to maximize their investment.”