3G radio added to Cisco's routers

Popular integrated services routers can now be connected to the corporate WAN over the cellular network

Cisco's integrated services routers are to receive a 3G connectivity option, while the routers will also be able to support twice as many access points.

The 3G radio card will allow businesses to connect the integrated services router (ISR) — which often sits at a branch office — back to their corporate headquarters over the cellular network. ISRs previously needed to be connected over a wired wide area network.

The card — called the 3G Wireless High-Speed WAN Interface Card (HWIC) — has already been successfully trialled by four network operators — AT&T, Sprint, Telefónica Móviles España and Verizon Wireless for their enterprise customers. There is currently no mobile operator lined up for such a service in the UK.

The company has shipped more than  two million ISRs, which will now be able to offer new features such as automatic WAN failover, supplemental bandwidth access for when the primary WAN link is over-utilised, and the ability to quickly roll out WAN connectivity for remote locations and temporary sites.

Support for a greater number of access points has been brought about by a new WLAN controller module. The WLCM can now centrally manage eight or 12 access points.  The new module also enables voice over WLAN security and continuity.

Cisco claims the kind of latency issues that are common to wireless voice "are reduced by the supported survivable local authentication access protocol on the WLCM".