Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Digi wireless router connects first responders

Steve Rogerson
July 25, 2019

The WR54 wireless router from Digi International, a Minnesota-based provider of IoT connectivity products, has been tested and approved for use on the US FirstNet communications platform.
FirstNet is built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), an independent agency within the federal government. It’s designed for first responders and those critical to their emergency response. With this technology upgrade, first responders can connect to the critical information they need every day and in every emergency.
The FirstNet Ready WR54 supports the FirstNet Band 14 spectrum and gives public safety access to the dedicated, physically separate FirstNet network core. The certification and approval for use of the WR54 makes it one of several wireless LTE-Advanced Pro Cat-12 routers available for the FirstNet communications platform.
The WR54 meets the connectivity problems inherent in multi-location, on-the-move conditions. With a mil-spec certified design for durability and dual cellular interfaces for immediate carrier failover and near-constant uptime, the WR54 is suitable for providing continuous connectivity throughout a city or locations with marginal cellular coverage.
Additionally, it comes with the built-in Digi TrustFence security framework to simplify the process of securing connected devices and adapting to new and evolving threats and Digi Remote Manager, the company’s central, secure management application that allows users to monitor and control their distributed IoT devices.
“FirstNet devices and modules go through extensive review, so first responders can be confident that Digi’s WR54 meets our highest standards for reliability, security and performance,” said Bob Sloan, chief operating officer for the FirstNet programme at AT&T. “The more tools public safety has access to on their network, the more we can help them achieve their mission.”
Before being approved for use on FirstNet, devices are subject to hundreds of tests that cover a number of aspects, from security and durability to network impacts. This helps make sure that they can meet the needs of first responders.
The WR54 meets the demands of public safety networks with:

  • Dual-core 880MHz Mips processor: designed with this high-speed architecture, the WR54 is future-built with a CPU capable of supporting higher network speeds and capabilities as infrastructure is updated to support them.
  • SAE J1455, MIL810G and IP54 rated: tested and certified to withstand water, dust, heat, vibration and other environmental problems found in emergency applications.
  • Optional dual-cellular radios for continuous connectivity between carriers: public safety cannot afford downtime, so if the primary cellular carrier drops out, the WR54 automatically and immediately switches over to the secondary carrier.
  • Four Gigabit Ethernet ports: beyond the LTE-A cellular module, the WR54 can support performance requirements with wired systems and the latest 802.11ac wifi, which combine to support the needs of any user.
  • TrustFence: a device-security framework that simplifies the process of securing connected devices and adapts to new and evolving threats.
  • Digi Remote Manager: with this web-based management tool, users can simply manage their devices, receive alerts and monitor the health of their deployed devices.
“The Digi WR54 was designed for high-performance, mission-critical mobile applications and built to survive harsh operating environments,” said Rick Gretsch, vice president of cellular routers for Digi. “Today we are thrilled to be able to announce a FirstNet Ready version of the WR54 in order to bring its performance, reliability and security to first responders and the public safety market.”