Sierra Wireless releases AirLink MP70 LTE-A vehicle router
Written by: Laurence Doe | Published:

Sierra Wireless has released its AirLink MP70, an LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) vehicle router for mission critical applications in public safety, transit and field services.

The MP70 serves as a purpose-built vehicle networking solution that enables multiple high-bandwidth applications to work simultaneously, resulting in it being “more than 10 times faster and four times further from the vehicle than ever before”, claims Sierra Wireless. It also provides IT departments with the flexibility to manage fleet and mobile assets in the cloud or in the enterprise data center using Sierra Wireless AirLink Network Management solutions.

An entire fleet of AirLink MP70 routers, field applications and mobile assets can be remotely managed, controlled and monitored over a centralised platform using AirLink Network Management solutions from Sierra Wireless. This is available as a hosted, cloud-based AirLink Management Service, or as a licensed software platform in the enterprise data center, oMM Management System. Sierra Wireless states that the AirLink Network Management solutions “allow organisations to increase efficiency and lower maintenance costs by up to 90 per cent”.

“The MP70 high performance vehicle router extends Sierra Wireless’ industry leading portfolio of vehicle gateways, which includes the AirLink GX450 mobile gateway and multi-network FirstNet Band 14 oMG vehicle router,” said Robin Duke-Woolley, CEO of specialist IoT analyst firm Beecham Research. “There is strong demand for vehicle area networks that can handle multiple applications, and the MP70’s flexible, secure management and Wi-Fi capabilities make it an attractive option.”

Sierra Wireless has provided an application example of the AirLink MP70 whereby it could allow a law enforcement vehicle to connect a to a high-speed area network, with both gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi supported, to share a secure LTE-A cellular connection that enables the dispatcher to access all of the systems in real time. This would be able to host a laptop for dispatch and records management, an electronic citation system, live digital video surveillance, body-worn cameras and automated license plate recognition (ALPR) systems.

“We trialed the MP70 router to connect our in-vehicle computers and provide a Wi-Fi hotspot for our team to access critical database records onsite in real time during emergencies,” said Greg Katz, Lieutenant, Billerica MA Police Department. “Right out of the box, we were impressed by the MP70’s top-notch, ruggedized form factor—with hardened aluminum casing, it’s clearly designed for turbulent vehicle environments. We are also very impressed with its reliable LTE connectivity and, because it offers 4-port Gigabit Ethernet, we will be able to support more in-vehicle equipment, such as video cameras and ALPR, bringing the full functionality of our office network to our patrol officers.”

Sierra Wireless claim that the MP70 is the “industry’s first router with a high performance vehicle area network accessible via Gigabit Ethernet, Gigabit Wi-Fi and 300 mbps LTE-A to connect multiple applications in and around the vehicle”. It has an integrated events engine, built-in vehicle I/O and support for AirLink Vehicle Telemetry to enable advanced awareness and instant insight into vehicle diagnostics, connected mobile assets, fleet operations and the workforce. The MP70 also provides GNSS and inertial navigation, this will be activated in an upcoming software release, enabling superior vehicle location accuracy – even when out of satellite coverage.

The list price for the MP70 is is €786 (no Wi-Fi) & €873 (Wi-Fi), which includes AirLink Management Service (ALMS) for three years with orders placed in 2016. The AirLink MP70 is commercially available today through Sierra Wireless’s authorised channel partners.

"Many public safety and other mission critical communications’ users already enjoy the benefits of applications supported by TETRA networks. The advent of LTE will significantly enhance these existing applications and offer an exciting opportunity for many others using broadband data. LTE networks will have a significant impact on the way many do business," said Phil Kidner, CEO, TCCA

“The AirLink MP70 brings flawless connectivity to many mobile assets and critical applications used by law enforcement officers, such as Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), in-vehicle cameras, video streaming, laptops and license plate recognition cameras,” explained Gavin Hutchins, technical director, TSM Texas. “We believe the MP70 will be instrumental in removing vehicle networking bottlenecks, as demand for high-bandwidth mobile devices continues to grow, and we’re very excited to deploy it in our larger law enforcement fleets in the months ahead.”


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