AT&T Collaborates with Cisco for WAN Service using Fixed 5G Wireless Gateways

Cisco Meraki introduced 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) gateways, and AT&T stated they would utilize them to provide a new service for business branch offices.

The fresh Meraki MG cellular MG52 and MG52E gateways expand the top-range of Meraki’s cellular gateway family, which includes four other models, and offers 2 Gbps/300Mbp throughput – it is double the throughput of the current high-end MG offerings. On top of that, the MG52 and MG 52E have two 2.5Gbe ports, Cisco mentioned.

Cellular gateways convert a cellular signal into wired WAN Ethernet connectivity, ensuring high-speed, continuous cellular network connectivity for critical business operations, penned Pratik S. Desai, the product marketing lead for 5G fixed wireless access and WAN application assurance for SD-WANs at Cisco, in a blog concerning the new devices.

“Wired remains a highly reliable and fast-performing WAN option for businesses. For most use cases, FWA provides a robust supplement to wired WAN, especially when using SD-WAN, SD-Routing, or routing to exploit Cisco traffic orchestration features like load balancing, traffic shaping, uplink selection, and more,” Desai penned. “Businesses can expand secure connected experiences everywhere using Cisco Talos-powered cybersecurity capabilities—firewall policies, content filtering, intrusion detection and prevention (IDS and IPS), advanced malware protection (AMP), and more—using both wired WAN and FWA.”

5G FWA is usually the preferred selection for WAN when a business requires an instant connection for a site with minimal downtime, connectivity variety and redundancy, or carrying out a large branch allocation, according to Desai. He further highlighted it as a suitable WAN choice for certain application cases like:

The new set of MG devices can be centrally controlled through Meraki’s cloud-based control panel. This allows customers to carry out tasks such as provision with zero-touch, security administration based on roles, firmware updates, configuration adjustments and email warnings.

Customers can plug in brand new devices and provision 5G wireless WAN service offered by AT&T through this control panel. “Customers now have the capability to immediately connect full-stack, safe Cisco SD-Branch and SD-Campus networks with 5G FWA at all their branches—which can be in the thousands—at once,” as per AT&T.

AT&T offers customers the option to purchase FWA data plans in advance directly from the Meraki control panel to utilize cloud-managed eSIM on the MG52 and MG52E.

Other service providers will also offer the MG52 and MG 52E as part of their service packages. For example, T-Mobile offers them through its managed Connected Workplace offering and Verizon Business will offer the Cisco gear through its 5G FWA service.

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