Network vendor Lancom has disclosed plans for next-generation wireless routers able to support business applications such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and voice over IP using cellular connections. The move could benefit companies in areas where broadband access is limited.
Lancom said that it intends to offer VPN routers with HSPA+ (3.5G) and LTE (4G) network capability in future, starting with the Lancom 1780W-3G set to ship in January.
This model will support HSPA+ speeds up to 21Mbit/s downstream and 5.765Mbit/s upstream, which is several times the bandwidth currently available on most mobile networks, and tops that of many broadband connections.
However, Lancom said that most production routers will start to be introduced from the summer of 2011 to coincide with the HSPA+ expansion plans of many of the mobile network operators.
A prototype LTE-capable router will also be demonstrated at the IT & Business trade fair in Stuttgart this week, according to the firm.
Lancom projects that LTE products will offer data rates up to 100Mbit/s downstream and 50Mbit/s upstream, although LTE support from the network operators is still likely to be many years away, at least in the UK.
"We are the first vendor to address business customers with such a wide range of professional HSPA+ and LTE devices. These products present our customers with tremendous opportunities," said Lancom's executive vice president of product marketing, Christian Schallenberg.
Lancom said that, while 3G connections in companies are currently used to provide a backup for business-critical DSL broadband links, the greater bandwidth of HSPA+ and LTE will make cellular networks capable of fully supporting business applications. The company anticipates widespread acceptance by wholesale and retail chain operators that currently rely on 3G networks for backup.
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