Sierra Wireless debuts a multi-network 5G hotspot for public safety agencies


Two years after carriers launched the earliest 5G networks, actual 5G coverage remains patchy — an issue that might annoy consumers but could become downright dangerous for first responders deployed in areas without reliable connectivity. Today, Sierra Wireless announced AirLink MG90 5G, a “world’s first” mobile 5G router designed to mitigate this issue for public safety agencies and private companies by opportunistically hopping between 5G carrier networks “in under a second.”

In short, AirLink MG90 5G gives first responders, transit providers, and private businesses a turnkey solution that turns any vehicle into a remote office for multiple users. Designed for installation in everything from emergency vehicles to trains and vans, AirLink MG90 5G’s ruggedized enclosure is protected against shocks, thermal conditions, moisture, and vibrations while packing a wide array of connectivity options.

Beyond its two cellular radios, each with dual SIM capabilities, MG90 5G has its own precision GNSS/GPS location system, two concurrent 3×3 MIMO Wi-Fi 5 arrays, five Gigabit Ethernet ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G hardware, the MG90 5G can run both cellular radios at the same time and also aggregate 4G and 5G data in parallel, using a cognitive network switching algorithm to decide which carrier’s network is more performant at any given second.

The result is a single device that can turn multiple carriers’ cellular data streams into the fastest available mobile broadband for up to 128 clients — enough for firefighters, paramedics, and law enforcement officers to stream high-resolution videos from the field or offer speedy Wi-Fi to railway passengers while they’re in motion. In addition to European E-Mark vehicle and international EN50155 railway certifications, the router will also be FirstNet- and Emergency Services Network/ESN-certified for broader deployment in the U.S. and U.K.

AirLink MG90 5G is priced starting at $1,699, and can be ordered through Sierra’s global channel partners for delivery in the first quarter of 2021. Samples will be available to customers for advance trials starting in December 2020.

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