Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Digi LTE router targets electric utilities and oil and gas production

Steve Rogerson
January 19, 2016
Digi International has introduced the TransPort WR31, a rugged enterprise LTE router built for critical applications operating in harsh environments. The unit features security and monitoring and the intelligence to operate on nearly any 3G or 4G LTE network in the world.
Designed for critical infrastructure environments, the WR31 addresses industries that manage a large number of remote assets installed in challenging environments where onsite visits are infrequent or impractical. In addition, by supporting global HSPA+ and 4G LTE networks, it provides the flexibility to future-proof router installations as wireless network requirements evolve.
At the heart of the WR31 is Minnesota-based Digi's licence-free enterprise routing and security software that supports features required for high reliability and high-security applications in utility and industrial markets. The router is suitable for scada, telemetry and other network operations teams. It is targeted for installation at electric and water utilities, state and municipal traffic agencies, oil and gas production and distribution facilities, and manufacturing automation companies.
There are multiple variants to allow companies the ability to leverage increasingly affordable and available cellular connectivity by offering software selectable 3G and 4G LTE to choose the best network and carrier for their needs.
For North America, the WR31 joins the Digi TransPort family of M2M routers that offers Gobi 4G LTE capabilities to give customers the ability to connect to either Verizon, AT&T or Sprint's 2G, 3G and 4G networks across North America using a single device.
For other countries, the router is available in either global LTE with HSPA+ fallback or global HSPA+ versions.
As a result, it connects a broad set of geographically distributed devices to allow companies to scale their M2M deployments quickly without worrying about which carrier and network type is best for each location.
With a ruggedised aluminium enclosure and Din-rail form factor, it is for use in cabinets, weatherproof enclosures and substation sheds. The product meets Class One, Division Two and Atex ratings for use in hazardous environments and includes IO support for local sensing and alarming applications.
Operators who deploy the WR31 have three tiers of support for keeping devices online. Digi Remote Manager provides a centralised portal for configuring devices en masse and reporting potential problems. The company's enterprise software supports redundancy features such as the VRRP+ virtual routing redundancy protocol and SureLink connection persistency software. Finally, it supports dual SIMs to provide continuous service through failover from one service provider to another, which is essential for applications that require continuous network connectivity and must adhere to service-level agreements.
"The Digi TransPort WR31 was built specifically for network engineers with hard hats," said Joel Young, chief technology officer at Digi International. "No longer will they have to settle for a vendor that has tried to tack 3G onto a legacy industrial product; they can have an advanced 4G LTE router plus Digi's proven serial, IP and IO networking capability."