Last month at Cisco Partner Summit, we announced the newest addition to the Meraki platform – the MG Cellular Gateway. The reaction to MG has been overwhelming with customers and partners eagerly waiting to get their hands on it, and now, the wait is over. We’re pleased to announce that MG is officially orderable today – try it out for yourself.
If you’re hearing about MG for the first time, then read on…
What is it?
The MG Cellular Gateway is a brand new Meraki product line that takes a cellular signal and transforms it into a wired Ethernet connection that can then be propagated down to the rest of a network via a router.
Cellular is growing
Cellular usage as a viable enterprise-grade connectivity option has been steadily growing with advances in throughput and availability in particular. IDC estimates the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the global LTE gateway market to be approximately 25% with around half of all enterprises using cellular as their current backup network solution for WAN connectivity.
The Meraki MG Cellular Gateway is our second wave of investment into cellular products. Last year we introduced a range of small branch MX security & SD-WAN appliances with integrated LTE modems to deliver all-in-one cellular failover capability. Customer response to the embedded cellular range has made those models one of the most popular of the MX line over the past year.
So there’s obvious an appetite in cellular products, but in what scenario would an MG cellular gateway be useful?
Cellular signal strength
One of the biggest challenges with utilizing cellular connectivity is getting the signal itself to where it’s needed. For most enterprises, geographical cellular coverage is not the issue. The challenge is usually with signal strength where the networking equipment is located. More often than not, this tends to be a network closet or server room deep inside a building, where cellular reception is likely to be poor or sporadic at best.
Antennas from cellular devices in a closet or server room can be extended to a location with better signal using a coaxial cable, however this is only practical over short distances. Coaxial cables are susceptible to high signal loss, making them unsuitable to transport a cellular signal over all but short distances.
Meraki MG cellular gateways are IP67 rated, meaning they can be optimally positioned, indoors or outdoors, to receive maximum signal strength. Cellular signal from MGs is delivered to the rest of the network via an Ethernet cable which experiences zero signal loss even over larger distances. Ethernet delivery also means that MG can be paired with any router on the market downstream to provide another uplink for SD-WAN or as a failover/primary link.
As you would expect with a Meraki product, MG is supremely simple, and of course managed from the same dashboard as the rest of the Meraki portfolio.
A decade head start
MG is built on the industry’s most trusted cloud infrastructure, backed by over 10 years of experience supporting nearly half a million customers globally, including numerous deployments in excess of 20,000 locations. Leveraging this backend infrastructure means that Meraki is uniquely positioned to rapidly bring new products and product lines to market that are supremely scalable and robust, from day one.
What about 5G?
There’s a lot of hype and excitement around 5G, and rightly so. Compared to 4G, 5G promises
- 10x latency reduction
- 10x increase in connection density
- 100x more traffic capacity
As hugely exciting as these capabilities are, there’s still some time before they become a reality. Firstly the 5G standard itself needs to be ratified – the timing of which is still to be confirmed. Moreover, as was the case with the preceding generations of cellular technology, multiple elements need to be completed before 5G adoption can become widespread: carriers need to certify 5G with their respective infrastructure and roll out new equipment to provide coverage, and client devices compatible with 5G need to proliferate.
Given the backend that Meraki has built, we’ve always been among the first to bring the latest technology innovations to our customers as we did with 802.11ac waves 1 and 2, and most recently, Wi-Fi 6. 5G will be no different. We’re closely tracking the progress of 5G, and are ideally positioned to deliver a solution to our customers that will allow them to fully leverage the enhancements in latency and throughput efficiencies that it promises, at scale.
So whether you’re starting your Meraki journey with MG or continuing it with adding to your existing Meraki deployment, you’re investing in a proven platform that’s ready to offer you unprecedented visibility and management, today.
More MG info & resources