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News briefs: Dell, partners to deliver OneBox MEC

OneBox MEC is a 5G-enabled mobile edge computing platform. The hardware will contain turnkey technology for deploying a private 5G network and application services.

Dell Technologies has partnered with SK Telecom and VMware to develop a private 5G and edge computing platform in a box.

The partners introduced their upcoming OneBox MEC (mobile edge computing) product this week but did not provide a release date. OneBox aims to provide turnkey technology for deploying a private 5G network. The MEC portion would enable application services that need the low latency and high speed of 5G, such as industrial IoT systems.

OneBox would contain a Dell EMC PowerEdge XE2420 server, the VMware Telco Cloud Platform and the 5GX MEC Platform from SK Telecom. Industries that could consider the integrated bundle, particularly in the U.S., include mining, transportation, construction and manufacturing.

Private 5G is growing as a replacement for outdated wireless networks. For example, heavy equipment maker John Deere plans to deploy a 5G network to improve its manufacturing operations in Iowa and Illinois.

John Deere is one of many companies looking at 5G to support industrial IoT. A recent Nemertes Research survey found that six in 10 companies using or planning to use an IoT-specific network protocol this year were considering or committed to 5G.

SK Telecom's latest partnership comes a year after the Korean carrier launched a Global MEC Task Force to develop and share with other companies 5G and MEC technologies. The task force, formed in cooperation with Singtel, Globe, Taiwan Mobile and PCCW Global, planned to expand the 5G MEC ecosystem in Asian countries and develop overseas market opportunities.

Other vendors focused on private 5G include Nokia. Last July, the company launched 5G standalone industrial-grade wireless networking systems. The network equipment maker said the products provide 4.9G/LTE and 5G networking. Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology was the first to deploy the technology, Nokia said.

The Cisco AireOS controller is history

Cisco has stopped selling AireOS-based wireless LAN controllers.

After 15 years, the product portfolio has reached the end of life and will no longer be available to customers. Instead, Cisco resellers will offer the company's IOS XE-based Wi-Fi products.

AireOS controllers' obsolescence is evident when compared with today's products. Initially, AireOS supported 100 access points and had less than 4 Gbps of throughput. Today's smallest controller in the Catalyst family, the 9800-L, supports as many as 500 access points and has 10 Gbps.

Over the years, Cisco introduced a lot of Wi-Fi technology in the AireOS. The list includes radio resource management, application visibility and control, flexible radio assignments and software-defined access.

AireOS controllers have supported Wi-F- standards starting with 802.11n to 802.11AC waves 1 and 2. But with 802.11 ax, or Wi-Fi 6, gaining traction, Cisco's Catalyst 9800 Series wireless controllers are more capable of handling the network's higher speeds and device density.

"The AireOS controllers have matured over time and can now be replaced by functionally richer Catalyst technology controllers," Cisco product manager Byron Magrane said in a blog post.

Comcast partners with Cisco Meraki on teleworker VPN

Comcast Business has started offering the Cisco Meraki cloud-based management platform with its hosted or on-premises VPN gateway.

Comcast has paired the two services with an all-in-one device that provides cloud-based security and wireless and wired connectivity options for the homes of remote workers. The Meraki platform provides IT teams with centralized management, policy-based access controls and traffic segmentation.

The VPN gateway is a component of the Comcast Business Teleworker VPN. Comcast said the latter service provides secure and reliable connections to business systems, applications and files over broadband.

The offering provides secure connectivity for laptops, desktops, VoIP phones and other devices. Other features include 24/7 support and the option of adding 4G LTE as a backup.

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