Digi EX50 5G: Next Gen Wi-Fi 6 Router for Business and Commercial Applications

Harald Remmert Harald Remmert, CTO, Cellular Solutions , Digi International
August 05, 2021
Digi EX50 is Digi’s next-generation enterprise-grade 5G cellular router with Wi-Fi 6.  This is a high-performance solution that is a perfect fit for the fixed wireless access (FWA) market, including enterprises seeking high-speed primary or back-up communications over cellular for enterprise main, branch and managed home offices, as well as a range of commercial and industrial applications.

Wi-Fi 6 router solutions come in a number of different flavors today. In this article, we will provide market insights on the many emerging use cases for Wi-Fi 6 routers and 5G for primary and backup cellular connectivity, and the top features of the Digi EX50 5G router, including its key advantages for commercial applications.

Read on to learn how this device provides the exceptional performance, 5G connectivity and 4G LTE and 3G failover to support enterprise and commercial applications that appear in areas where 5G may not yet be deployed.

5G Routers and Wi-Fi 6: Where the Market Is Headed

As we have shared in our thought leadership articles, such as the 2G and 3G network shutdown blog post, 4G LTE has a long lifecycle and will remain in place over the next decade as commercial and industrial operations migrate their operations to 5G. In fact, 4G is still growing rapidly in adoption, even as 5G network infrastructure builds out, and commercial operations seek the best 5G business router to meet their needs.
Wi-Fi 6 applications

There are many reasons for this. For example, it takes time and resources to migrate older infrastructure when new products and technology are introduced. And while 5G networks are rapidly rolling out across the globe, it will take time for the buildout to reach remote and rural areas. 4G LTE shares the same spectrum as 5G, enabling 4G to provide seamless failover backup for 5G, as well as a continued option for enterprises that do not need the speed and performance of 5G today.

That said, the landscape is changing. Demand for higher speeds, reliable connectivity and faster throughput is increasing. Wi-Fi 6 is the next generation of Wi-Fi, offering speeds in the 9.6 Gbps range, up from 3.5 Gbps with Wi-Fi 5. It's the perfect marriage for 5G devices devoted to commercial and business applications, and we will see applications across IoT, retail, streaming services and more.

The 5G Adoption Rate Portends Growth

The early 5G adopters were all in the consumer space, with mobile phones leading the pack. An excellent article from J. P. Morgan describes the meteoric growth in mobile, and how that same 5G adoption trend will occur in the commercial space.

“The biggest opportunity for 5G is in enterprise. Companies have only just started to scratch the surface in terms of investing in enterprise use cases. Factory floor automation will be one of the big use cases. Another is fixed wireless, which could boost connectivity through private 5G networks deployed across organizations, regions or campuses,” said Samik Chatterjee, Telecom & Network Equipment/IT Hardware Senior Analyst at J.P. Morgan.

We agree. The same article projected that the enterprise market will “expand at a 25% CAGR from 2022-2030 through digitalization and high performance mobile connectivity for applications, including connected vehicles, real-time automation and autonomous robotics.” Digi is rolling out 5G routers to meet these growing needs and support next generation IoT expansion across multiple applications and sectors.

Who Will Adopt 5G in the Commercial and Enterprise Space?

The exciting performance of 5G is enticing to many who want to deploy applications that use technologies such as streaming video, artificial intelligence and machine learning. These features and technologies support advanced applications that require speed, low latency, higher bandwidth, or some combination of all three.

The leading edge Digi EX50 5G Wi-Fi 6 router, supports a vast range of use cases in commercial and enterprise environments. As we discussed in our blog post, 5G Applications and Use Cases, the applications for 5G performance cross multiple sectors. In this post, we will focus on commercial and industrial use cases in temperature-controlled and moderately challenging environments such as light industrial. Let’s look at some examples of how 5G will be used in commercial and industrial environments.

5G in Enterprises and Branch Offices

Financial office
Main office and branch office enterprises, which include a range of banking and financial institutions and retail chain stores, today are replacing wired circuits which are very costly to install and maintain. They can also quickly be brought to their knees due to outages.

As these enterprises expand or upgrade their systems, most are turning to wireless solutions with cellular either for their primary or backup connectivity. These solutions, which include Digi’s line of enterprise cellular routers, provide seamless backup connectivity for wired networks as well as primary connectivity for those ready to completely move to wired connectivity.

And with the new Digi EX50 5G business router, it’s even better, because enterprises can get fast, reliable, secure 5G Internet on day one, and future-proof their connectivity for the foreseeable future.

5G Retail, Hospitality and Travel Applications

Interactive kiosk and digital signage
In the retail and hospitality sectors, applications and guests are often “bandwidth hungry,” and 5G will provide an excellent answer. Video streaming, again, is a key use case. For example, this will come to play in applications like augmented reality to support decision making. Does the green outfit or the purple outfit look better? Which hair cut best suits a customer’s facial shape and personal style?

Another use case is personalized digital signage – delivering targeted images and messages throughout a shopping mall or retail space, based on a particular consumer’s profile. Retailers will also have the opportunity to develop smart inventory management systems. One such capability, for example, would be integrating pricing changes due to sales or supply availability with promotional content on digital signage – with 5G performance driving that automation.
5G will also support venues where retail and entertainment are combined. Large malls, for example, often include activity and entertainment venues, and these will increasingly include immersive experiences with virtual reality taking center stage.

And finally, point-of-sale, which is a mission critical need for all transaction-based commercial enterprises, from stores and restaurants to hotel chains.

With Digi EX50 5G enterprise cellular router, retail and hospitality businesses have an “all-in-one” Wi-Fi 6 router that can replace multiple devices with true Gigabit performance for fast, reliable throughput to meet the growing needs of this sector.

Managed Home Office with Corporate Network Access

Managed remote work and corporate connectivity solutions
Managed home offices are becoming “the new normal” as a result of many more workers finding work-life balance by working part-time or full time from home. The critical needs in this space are speed, reliability and security. As with the retail and commercial space, the corporate sector needs secure Wi-Fi access to support the remote workforce.

IT teams must scrupulously manage access to the corporate network, ensuring that remote team members have secure VPN, and connect with the same security they would if they were working on-site.

The Digi EX50 5G Wi-Fi router enables enterprise-grade security managed by IT. This provides remote workers and IT teams with peace of mind that those accessing the network from home offices have secure, reliable remote connectivity, all with the performance of 5G.

5G in Manufacturing Applications

5G in manufacturing automation and robotics
In the manufacturing industry, the applications supporting Industry 4.0 advancements are set to take off rapidly with the capabilities that 5G routers, AI, ML and video streaming can bring. According to a study performed by the Manufacturing Institute, over half of manufacturers are testing 5G in some capacity, or plan to do so immediately. And 91% believe 5G connectivity will be important to the future of their business.

Consider, for example, how AI-enabled automation using vision cameras and autonomous robots stands to expedite the most repetitive manufacturing processes on assembly lines, while improving accuracy for better ROI. Meanwhile, trained staff can monitor processes and inspect production output without having to directly interact with equipment.

Augmented reality and virtual reality will also play a large role in this space. AR overlays in a manufacturing environment can essentially provide an “inside look” at any part or component within the assembly to support decision making, parts ordering and repairs.

With the Digi EX50 5G cellular router, smart factories can begin taking full advantage of next-generation connectivity to achieve their Industry 4.0 and industrial automation goals.

5G in Supply Chain Use Cases

Asset management in supply chain operations
From asset management through the production pipeline to asset tracking of assembled and packaged products in the shipping workflow, there are many aspects of the supply chain that will benefit from the ability to route more data faster. Identifying the location and status of any one item along this “chain” is imperative in order to optimize operations.

“Supply chains that need incoming parts to be highly synchronized will be made more efficient with 5G-powered track and trace technologies,” states a Telit article on the emerging 5G use cases in manufacturing and industry.

Another use case supporting this industry will be driverless trucks and delivery vehicles, which will use vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-intersection (or “V2X”) communications to ensure accurate stopping time and decision making. These communications require the ultra-low-latency of 5G connectivity for rapid decision-making in fractions of seconds.

The Digi EX50 5G LTE router supports a range of supply chain IoT requirements, with fast, secure connectivity, and 4G LTE failover for reliability.

5G in Building Security

Facial recognition technology
With 5G cellular routers and Wi-Fi 6 functionality, security will take a major leap forward. The greater bandwidth of 5G will support high-definition (HD, 4K, 8K) security cameras requiring more uplink bandwidth. 5G is much faster than 4G and offers better uplink performance, allowing higher definition video for improved image recognition – as well as aggregation of multiple video streams over a single 5G router.

Facial recognition will increasingly come into play as organizations seeking to ensure only authorized personnel are allowed entry to premises, and turn to the capabilities of 5G to recognize staff and prevent access from unauthorized visitors.

The Digi EX50 5G all-in-one Wi-Fi 6 router keeps personnel, equipment and HD security cameras connected all at the same time, increasing site uptime and safety.

Key Features of Digi EX50 5G Wi-Fi 6 Router

Digi EX50 expands Digi’s enterprise market offering by providing premium performance that supports the latest, high-performance 5G/4G dual-connectivity cellular technology with seamless transition between 5G and 4G cellular networks, and 3G fallback in areas where 5G is not yet deployed.
Digi EX50 5G cellular router with Wi-Fi 6

Any application that requires great Wi-Fi for many clients or bandwidth-hungry devices will benefit from Digi EX50’s latest generation Wi-Fi 6 radios. These radios operate simultaneously on 2.4 and 5 GHz and offer higher speed, capacity and range than previous Wi-Fi 5 products. And the latest WPA3 security keeps wireless networks secure and protected from bad actors.

Additional features:
  • A high-speed 5G NR and 4G LTE-Advanced Pro Cat 20 dual connectivity cellular radio
  • Enterprise grade Wi-Fi 6 with WPA3 security and dual 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet
  • Extended temperature range of -20° C to +70° C to support operation in environments with limited or no air conditioning or heating, such as construction sites or infrastructure sheds.
  • Serial port for remote out-of-band management of connected
  • Full integration with Digi Remote Manager®, the command center of your intelligent network, offering security monitoring, remote management, automation and mass firmware updates
Additionally, Digi offers supporting Professional Services to help your organization with planning, implementation and deployment.

Digi EX50 5G Wi-Fi router lets you upgrade to 5G technology today, and future proof your commercial enterprise for tomorrow. Contact us to start a conversation.
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