Simplify 5G Fixed Wireless Access and Scale Secure Connectivity to More Places
Jun 27 2024 Miles Stuart

Simplify 5G Fixed Wireless Access and Scale Secure Connectivity to More Places

Pratik Desai, May 29 2024

Cisco introduces its first 5G Standalone (SA) fixed wireless access devices, the Meraki MG52 and MG52E. Powered by the Cisco secure networking platform, these devices help businesses scale robust, always-on, 5G-connected experiences to more people and places — without compromising scale and performance.

5G fixed wireless access (FWA) is transforming the way businesses connect to the global network, especially in areas where fiber is not available. Market analysis from Wells Fargo recently indicated that nearly all net-new broadband accounts in the United States are FWA. Despite this demand, FWA point solutions inhibit the scale potential of FWA when expanding to multiple locations.
Businesses need a better way to implement 5G FWA across their growing branch footprints.

Accelerating time-to-market with cloud management

Cisco is pleased to introduce its first 5G standalone (SA) cloud-managed FWA devices, the Meraki MG52 and MG52E cellular gateways, to accelerate the way businesses open and connect branches. Managed through the Cisco Networking Cloud, these devices help businesses scale robust, always-on, 5G-connected experiences to more people and places without compromising scale and performance.
For branch-based businesses and organizations with remote operations, the MG52 and MG52E deliver:

  • Faster “day zero” operations by enabling businesses to purchase and activate AT&T data plans with an integrated complimentary introductory period directly from the Cisco Meraki dashboard
  • Lower operating expenditures by enabling businesses to streamline deployment with instant-on provisioning via Cisco IoT Control Center and Meraki
  • Higher return on investment by ensuring long-term compatibility with multigeneration cellular service (4G, 5G NSA, 5G SA) and reducing upgrade costs with future-ready 5G SA

Simplifying the 5G journey

Businesses often suffer from delayed time to market due to long lead times associated with disjointed processes and multivendor complexities in opening and connecting branches. AT&T and Cisco saw an opportunity to reach customers more quickly with a jointly developed, innovative, out-of-the-box experience, offering a deep integration with AT&T Wireless WAN services to help businesses get started even faster.

Businesses can now immediately connect full-stack, secure Cisco SD-Branch and SD-Campus networks with 5G FWA at all their branches—up to thousands at once. AT&T enables business IT leaders to prepurchase FWA data plans directly from the Meraki dashboard to leverage cloud-managed eSIM on the MG52 and MG52E.

“Together with Cisco, we are making it faster and easier than ever for companies to reimagine their networks and conduct business with next-level connectivity,” said Mike Troiano, Senior Vice President, Product and Pricing, AT&T Business. “This offer is yet another way we are demonstrating our commitment to simplifying business challenges and enhancing the end-user experience.”

Consistent, unwavering, robust performance

5G FWA is often the best choice for WAN when a business needs to immediately connect a site with minimal downtime, provide connectivity diversity and redundancy, or conduct a large branch deployment. It is also the best WAN choice for:

  • Rural and remote regions where wired WAN can take over nine months to deploy
  • Single-occupancy real estate where a wired WAN connection doesn’t exist
  • Space-constrained locations where a WAN gateway must be deployed in small, tight spots
  • Pop-up sites where a wired WAN is implausible to deploy
  • Nonconventional locations such as basements or rooftops too far from wired WAN

Discreet, versatile, pervasive connectivity

The MG52 and MG52E enable businesses to open branches immediately, boost network resiliency, and increase ROI on FWA investments. Multisite, branch-based verticals, such as retail, food services, hospitality, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing and supply chain, transportation, logistics, and more, can expand their charters and offer services to new customers in new markets. Well-orchestrated deployments can also offer greater business agility, getting to market faster with same-day, full-stack SD-Branch and SD-Campus connectivity with Cisco Meraki or Cisco Catalyst networks.

Intuitive, streamlined, scalable management

Wired remains a highly reliable and fast-performing WAN option for businesses. For most use cases, FWA offers a strong complement to wired WAN, particularly when using SD-WAN, SD-Routing, or routing to take advantage of Cisco traffic orchestration features such as load balancing, traffic shaping, uplink selection, and more.

Businesses can extend secure connected experiences everywhere using Cisco Talos-powered cybersecurity capabilities—firewall policies, content filteringintrusion detection and prevention (IDS and IPS), advanced malware protection (AMP), and more—using both wired WAN and FWA.

Partnering with telecommunications industry leaders

For businesses looking to partner with a managed service provider, Cisco is teaming up with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Business to provide robust, reliable, same-day cloud-managed 5G FWA by offering the MG52 and MG52E as a fully managed solution.

T-Mobile is teaming up with Cisco to enhance its Connected Workplace offering by making the MG52 and MG52E available as part of its fully managed, end-to-end 5G FWA solution.

“When we launched Connected Workplace earlier this year, one of our primary objectives was to continually enhance the solution to meet the evolving needs of our customers,” said Chris Melus, VP of Product Management, T-Mobile for Business. “The addition of the MG52 and MG52E means our customers have a 5G SA gateway that leverages the full power of T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G SA network. It also gives them more choice when it comes to optimizing their networking infrastructure, reducing IT workload and enhancing operational efficiency.”

Verizon Business and Cisco are partnering to offer businesses full-stack, cloud-managed, scalable networking with Verizon 5G FWA built around the flagship MG52 and MG52E FWA devices.

“Businesses need an easy, powerful, and scalable way to deploy high-performance 5G fixed wireless access,” said Debika Bhattacharya, Chief Technology Solutions Officer, Verizon Business. “We’re proud to partner with Cisco to bring businesses reliable 5G connectivity with an emphasis on simplicity, optionality, and capability.”

Business continuity starts now

Together with cloud-managed eSIM integration with AT&T, the MG52 and MG52E offer many new capabilities to elevate the way branch-based businesses get connected and serve their customers. With same-day connectivity, the flexibility to be deployed anywhere, and robust, reliable performance, IT teams can help drive their organizations forward with greater ease and success.

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