Cisco jumps on the Verizon Wireless LTE bandwagon

ciusVerizon Wireless’ portfolio of 10 consumer LTE devices will have a few enterprise complements. Cisco Systems is adding LTE connectivity to its Cius tablet, tapping into LTE’s speeds and low latencies to support Cisco’s suite of collaborative business software. The first Cius devices, which start shipping in March will have 3G connectivity, but Cisco plans to begin embedding LTE modules in the tablets in the second half of the year.

The Cius is similar to other tablets in the market in that its runs the Android 2.2 operating system, uses a touch screen interface and supports a bevy of consumer apps. But Cisco has also tailored the device for enterprise use, bumping up its security and VPN capabilities and allowing IT managers to closely manage software on the device. Cisco has also taken its suite of business software and optimized them for the platform. With LTE support, some of those applications now have the opportunity to shine, especially real-time collaboration apps like Webex.

Cisco also is also adding LTE modules to its next-generation Integrated Services Router G2, which will make LTE a connectivity option for enterprise branch offices. Typically an ISR, which extends Cisco enterprise networking and business services to satellite locations, would be connected via a T1 or other landline link, but with LTE as an option, operators and their customers will have more flexibility. An enterprise could use LTE as a back-up, ensuring there is no service interruption if the landline connection fails. Also, operators could use LTE as a temporary solution while provisioning a landline connection order, which sometimes can take months. But Cisco also envisions that the LTE connectivity could be used to create something akin to address-less offices, where Internet connectivity and enterprise services aren’t tied to a particular location.

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