Sierra Wireless, a leading provider of fully integrated device-to-cloud solutions for IoT, recently announced the AirLink RV55 LTE-Advanced Pro router, which promises to simplify and lower the cost of connecting critical remote assets, infrastructure, and mobile workforces in utility, energy, smart city and public safety applications.
AirLink RV55 is a compact and rugged LTE-A Pro router for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), distribution management systems and service vehicle fleets.
Utilities are deploying cellular IoT solutions like AirLink RV55 to modernize grid operations by connecting aging equipment and infrastructure in order to meet customers’ service expectations and increase adoption of new distributed energy sources. AirLink RV55 combines high-speed, reliable LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi, serial and ethernet interfaces, allowing utilities to gather real time data from infrastructure and connect mobile workforces to improve operational efficiency, rapidly identify issues and restore service outages.
AirLink RV55 is part of Sierra Wireless’ AirLink Performance Series of routers and gateways. It is available in an LTE-A Pro variant with dual-serial, ethernet, GNSS and an optional dual Wi-Fi interface. LTE-A Pro supports 6x faster downlink (up to 600Mbps) and 3x faster upload (up to 150Mbps) speeds compared with previous LTE versions (RV50). RV55 supports CBRS bands that do not require spectrum licenses and allow utilities to build and operate their own LTE networks. An LTE-M/NB-IoT (up to 300kbps downlink) variant is also available for enhanced coverage. RV55 retains the same ultra-low power consumption of the RV50/50X making it ideal for solar or battery powered installations.
AirLink RV55 models range from US$589 for the LTE-M/NB-IoT variant to US$789 for the LTE-A Pro variant with Wi-Fi. LTE-A Pro routers will start sampling in March, with commercial availability beginning in April. LTE-M/NB-IoT samples will be available in May, with commercial availability in June.
Jesus Gonzalez, senior analyst, IHS Markit, Critical Communications, said: “As electric utilities modernize with cellular IoT, the cost and complexity of adding connectivity to aging infrastructure equipment is a significant challenge, especially if the equipment doesn’t have connectivity built in or is deployed in a harsh or remote environment. Cellular LTE routers with a compact, rugged form factor and flexible interfaces make it easy to connect critical distribution automation equipment like cap-bank controllers, sectionalizers and reclosers to help monitor and respond quickly to changes in the utility grid.”
Tom Mueller, vice president, product, Enterprise Solutions, Sierra Wireless, said: “Utility, energy and industrial companies continue to rely on cellular IoT to efficiently connect and operate their infrastructure. The AirLink RV55, with device management and 24/7 direct support included at zero cost for the first year, provides IT teams with peace of mind knowing they can securely connect and manage both their fixed and mobile networks with a single reliable solution.”
Carol Johnston, vice president, product marketing, Clevest Solutions, said: “Efficiently connecting mobile workforces, their vehicles and dispatch resources is critical to quickly finding and resolving service outages. Sierra Wireless’ AirLink RV55 provides the secure, reliable, always-on connectivity that utilities need to efficiently dispatch work orders to the closest qualified worker and manage their field service teams leveraging Mobile Workforce Management software to keep critical operations running smoothly.”