Digi launches wireless, remote device networking with GSM Edge gateway

Minnetonka, MN—Digi International reports that it has launched its Connect WAN GSM, which provides Ethernet-to-wireless IP connectivity to remote sites and devices via the cellular GSM network.


Minnetonka, MN— Digi International reports that it has launched its Connect WAN GSM, which provides Ethernet-to-wireless IP connectivity to remote sites and devices via the cellular GSM network. The company says Connect WAN GSM is the first gateway to offer a cost-effective, diverse alternative to landline data connections by using Cingular's high-speed, GSM-based GPRS/Edge network for backup network connectivity.

Cingular has announced this product as a component in its new Wireless WAN Connectivity Service. Other users, including Florida Power and Light (FP&L) and EnerNOC, have chosen Connect WAN GSM for primary and back-up remote site connectivity.

'This announcement represents an exciting extension of Digi's business into a new market area,' says Joe Dunsmore, Digi’s CEO. 'Paired with Cingular's service, we are making it easy to connect previously hard-to-reach remote sites and their devices, as well as providing cost-effective backup device network connectivity. These solutions have particular appeal in some of our traditional verticals and applications, such as retail, automated teller machine connectivity, self-service stations, remote industrial sites, power utilities and industrial control systems.'

Connect WAN GSM reportedly is the industry's first commercially available gateway to provide high-speed wireless GSM connections for remote data operations. It creates a diverse WAN connection, so that when primary wired connections are unavailable, mission-critical data continues to flow through the wireless connection. The product also provides reliable primary communications for remote locations. Connect WAN GSM takes advantage of Cingular's high-speed Edge network, which is reportedly the fastest national wireless data network in the U.S.

'The Digi Connect WAN GSM combines with Cingular's powerful, nationwide Edge network to provide customers with a truly diverse and secure high-speed back-up solution to their wireline data connections at the edge of a company's IT network,' says Hamish Caldwell, executive director of Cingular’s Wireless Business Markets group. 'Digi offers the marketplace a reliable wireless gateway that is easy to install and operate in conjunction with the Cingular Edge network that fully meets the expectations of our joint customers. We look forward to continue working with Digi as we market the ireless WAN Connectivity Service to our extensive business customer base.'

Users find network diversity
Serving more than 4.2 million consumer, FP&L began rolling out Connect WAN as a back up for its primary connections at its remote company sites. FP&L uses Digi's Connectware Manager enterprise-class management platform to wirelessly manage devices and connections.

'We needed a reliable fail-over system to our primary wireline connections for our sites throughout Florida,' says Joel De Granda, FP&L’s hardware systems development supervisor. 'Connect WAN GSM made it easy for us to implement Edge wireless WAN connectivity service, and provided a cost-effective, diverse alternative to landline data connections. Connect WAN was attractive to FP&L because of its integral IP and routing capabilities and its ability to maintain persistent connections on the Cingular Edge network. Digi's Connectware Manager software also made it easy for us to configure and monitor hundreds of the devices wirelessly.'

In addition, EnerNOC, which provides demand response (DR) and energy management solutions, uses Connect WAN GSM as a primary connection for remote device management. To help users implement DR programs, EnerNOC installs site servers at each of its customer locations. For those without landline connections, EnerNOC uses Connect WAN GSM as its main line of communications to wirelessly monitor and manage these devices.


'Digi Connect WAN GSM eliminated the cost and time burden of setting up landline connections for our customers without Internet access,' adds Craig Rutfield, EnerNOC’s engineering VP. 'It allows us to easily monitor and operate our remote site servers wirelessly when necessary. This saved us money and time. Set up was also easy.'

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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