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Cisco Catalyst 5G Router Portfolio Launched Targeting IoT, Edge Use Cases

The tech giant has released a new line of three 5G industrial edge routers and an IoT gateway series for IoT and edge use cases.

Cisco has unveiled a new line of Catalyst industrial edge routers for mobile and fixed asset connectivity and an IoT gateway series for IoT use cases.

The new portfolio of three routers and a new IoT gateway series will extend the enterprise network and SD-WAN to the edge and allow businesses to tap into that valuable data to power connected operations, rather than edge environments that work in isolation. The routers will also help connect and power new use cases that have been cropping up in new places as a result of digital transformation, including connected utility substations and transportation, Cisco said.

The new Cisco Catalyst 5G industrial routers complement the Cisco Catalyst IR1101, an integrated services router for ruggedized IoT environments. The routers are based on Cisco IOS XE software, Cisco said.

Vikas Butaney, vice president and general manager of Cisco IoT, said that the new routers “offer enterprise-grade security and support for Cisco Cyber Vision to provide visibility at the industrial asset level and support for SD-WAN to connect users, devices, and remote or mobile assets reliably, cost-effectively, and securely across a diverse set of WAN transport links.”

[Related: Cisco Webex: From ‘Stodgy’ To ‘Cutting Edge’ As Tech Giant Takes Aim At Zoom]

Edge devices and environments are often managed in isolation. At the same time, each use case, like point-of-sale kiosks or connecting remote piece of equipment, can have different requirements than what’s needed at the enterprise campus or branch. This often results in a fragmented network architecture, according to San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco.

The 5G-capable industrial edge routers can be managed from the cloud or on-premises by IT teams using Cisco DNA Center and Cisco vManage, as well as operations teams via the Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard and the Cisco IoT Field Network Director. The benefit, according to Cisco, is that it creates a single, simplified way to allow for IT/OT collaboration.

The new Cisco IoT Gateway Series for indoor or outdoor connectivity comes packaged with Cisco’s cloud-based IoT Operations Dashboard, Cisco said.

The new Catalyst portfolio will accommodate a variety of connectivity options, including 4G, 5G, private LTE, Wi-Fi 6, AT&T’s first responder network, FirstNet, and Wi-SUN, the Wireless Smart Utility Network that allows for connectivity between smart-grid devices.

Landis+Gyr, a global solution provider that serves utility service provider customers, works closely with Wi-SUN because several years ago, demand grew for standards-based networking for IoT. The firm began partnering with Cisco because its solutions provide “true interoperability” for utility companies that need to be able to interchange millions of devices, said Tim Weidenbach, senior vice president of technologies at Landis+Gyr.

Landis+Gyr specializes in smart meter deployments and Cisco’s Catalyst routers for IoT are helping companies manage their grids and collect and make sense of very large volumes of data. The latest line of 5G industrial routers will give utilities an offering that can support the next 15-20 years of an endpoint’s life. “We think that part is critical,” Weidenbach added.

“Having a partner like Cisco makes it so we don‘t have to be the experts at networks. We need to be the experts at building the end to end system that maximizes the use of Cisco’s pipes,” he said.

Jason Gallo, VP of Cisco’s global partner organization, said that the new portfolio will give partners the opportunity to innovate and accelerate new services at the edge.

“As 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and new technologies proliferate, there will be explosive growth in the number of connected devices worldwide,” he said. “Partners, as trusted advisors, have an opportunity with the new additions to the Catalyst line, to meet this growing customer need in a simpler, more scalable, consistent way.”

The latest Cisco Catalyst for IoT portfolio is available beginning in June, according to the San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant.  

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