Cingular Wireless today introduced its new Wireless WAN Connectivity Service, the industry's first commercially available solution that uses a gateway device at the edge of a company's IT network to provide enhanced and secure wide area connectivity for mission-critical data operations.
The Wireless WAN Connectivity Service is powered by Cingular's high-speed EDGE network, the fastest national wireless data network in the U.S., in conjunction with the Digi Connect(TM) WAN GSM(TM) wireless gateway from
Minneapolis-based Digi International.
Using Cingular's Wireless WAN Connectivity Service, customers now have a truly diverse and secure high-speed back-up to their wireline data connections should those be disabled by cable cuts, weather or local access outages.
Customers can configure their local area networks so that the Wireless WAN Connectivity Service automatically activates should the wireline connection be interrupted, thus achieving the truly diverse network architecture that
ensures critical applications keep running.
The Wireless WAN Connectivity Service also can be used as a primary data connection for companies with remote or temporary operations where there is no readily available wireline access, or those looking for a cost-effective and
fast deployment. Cingular Wireless is working with its parent companies, SBC Communications, Inc. and BellSouth, to offer the Wireless WAN Connectivity Service to their world-class rosters of enterprise customers later this year.
"The availability of high-speed wireless data networks such as the Cingular Wireless EDGE network now makes this type of service feasible and practical for businesses looking for an economical way to achieve true diversity," said Jeff Bradley, vice president, business data solutions, for Cingular Wireless. "We've seen considerable interest in the Wireless WAN Connectivity Service from a number of companies who want to use a wireless data solution with a gateway device at their network edge to provide redundant
connectivity. They realize that this solution is cost-effective and can be deployed quickly, while providing a higher level of redundancy for their IT network operations."
Florida Power & Light Company (FP&L) is among the cingular customers that have already begun rolling out the Wireless WAN Connectivity Service. FP&L, which serves more than 4.2 million customer accounts in Florida, is deploying
the service at more than 1,000 company facilities located throughout the state. The solution also is in various stages of trial deployments with nearly two dozen other companies.
"Cingular Wireless' Wireless WAN Connectivity Service provides Florida Power & Light Company with the high-speed wireless data services, broad network coverage within Florida and support that we required in order to have
a viable wireless fail-over system to our primary wireline connections," said Joel De Granda, supervisor of hardware systems development, for Florida Power & Light Company. "The Digi ConnectWAN was attractive to FP&L because of its
integral IP and routing capabilities, and its ability to maintain and monitor persistent reliable connections on the Cingular Wireless network."
The Digi Connect WAN GSM wireless gateway provides a direct IP connection to a facility's primary server via a 10/100 Base-T Ethernet. In addition to wireless modem communications, it offers local intelligence with features such as network routing, persistent connections, firewall restrictions, and "always on" capability. Digi's remote Connect WAN gateway is supported by the Digi Connectware Manager, an enterprise-class management platform that makes it easy to deploy and manage thousands of devices over a wireless wide area network.
An embedded EDGE modem provides the connection to Cingular's nationwide EDGE network, which operates at average speeds up to 135 kbps (kilobits per second), depending on the device being used. The Cingular EDGE network is available in more than 8,500 cities and towns across the U.S.
"Utilizing its Ethernet to wireless interface, the Digi ConnectWAN GSM provides wireless connectivity to remote sites and their devices and is the ideal solution for remote device networking," said Larry Kraft, vice president of America's sales and global marketing, Digi International. "Paired with Cingular's Wireless WAN Connectivity Service, the solution provides the largest coverage for GSM network data available and bandwidth comparable to various types of landline connections."
Cingular Wireless serves 95 of the Fortune 100 companies, and counts more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 1,200 federal, state and local government agencies as customers.