Digi TX Cellular Routers: 4G and 5G Solutions Built for Speed and Reliability

Steve Mazur Steve Mazur, Business Development Director, Government
April 17, 2023

Cellular routers support a broad range of applications, from indoor use cases such as office networking and datacenter management to rugged industrial and on-vehicle applications. This includes everything from digital signage and industrial IoT to Smart City applications like public transit and smart traffic management. Digi’s extensive cellular product lines support all of these use cases and more. Transportation solutions are one of our key offerings, supporting the mission-critical needs of transit authorities, traffic management teams, and railway operators.

Digi’s TX solutions, complete with integrated security and system-wide management with Digi Remote Manager®, feature our cellular product line’s most extensive functionality — including expanded 5G product lines with backup 4G LTE. In addition to transit and traffic applications, Digi addresses the specific needs of other use cases such as critical infrastructure and public safety that require similar features for critical communications.

Digi TX64 5G Platform

Digi TX64 5G and TX64 5G Rail

Digi TX64 5G solutions include the high-performance Digi TX64 5G for public transit applications, and Digi TX64 5G Rail for light and heavy railway use cases. Digi TX64 5G is a secure, industrial PC and router in one. It supports a wide variety of data communications needs at industry-leading speeds.

With its quad-core 1.9 GHz (64 bit) processor, Digi TX64 5G is prepared to handle many critical data-intensive applications at once, paving the way to reduce communications equipment and maintenance overhead for transit agencies. Every city has special connectivity considerations and requirements. The Digi TX64 platform provides a flexible interface design to support the functionality that meets varying needs. The options include:

  • Integrated Wi-Fi access point
  • USB (3.0)
  • Serial or any of four Gigabit-Ethernet ports
  • A variety of configuration options including GNSS and Bluetooth®

Digi TX64 5G has dual 1.2 Gbps LTE-Advanced Pro Cat 18 cellular modules. Additionally, with built-in 5G, it supports today’s requirements while preparing customers for tomorrow, with the speed and architecture for advanced use cases.

Why dual-cellular modules? This feature enables the system to segment secure transit data and fare collection applications from passenger Wi-Fi, and give priority to the most critical data communication needs.

Unique Needs of Public Transit Networking

Bus passenger

Buses, paratransit vans and other public transportation services need a range of sophisticated communications and data management services.

Here are some examples:

  • Communications between vehicles and the central dispatch center about schedules, routing and driver safety. 
  • Fare collection and transactions.
  • Security camera data and communications back to central dispatch.
  • Public Wi-Fi to support riders who are using mobile devices for communication, productivity and video streaming.

To support these communications, transit applications require connectivity to be reliable, secure, ruggedized and ultra-fast, all while on-the-go throughout the city, along with integrated, system-wide visibility and management with Digi Remote Manager, and the Digi TrustFence security framework.

Unique Needs of Light and Heavy Commercial Railways

Passenger railway

Railway systems today have complex, mission-critical needs, including connectivity to transit stations for communications and data backhaul, as well as onboard systems, location positioning, streaming video, passenger Wi-Fi and signage. Private data must be managed separately from public Wi-Fi.

Digi TX64 5G Rail supports the critical needs of both commercial and passenger railways with a complete feature set:

  • Sophisticated management and security software, including Digi Remote Manager® for provisioning, security and ongoing management, and the integrated Digi TrustFence® security framework.
  • UDR (unteathered dead reckoning), combining GNSS with inertial sensors to support precise positioning, even in tunnels and urban canyons
  • FirstNet Trusted™ certification for primary responder communication
  • Cryptographic co-processor with secure key generation and storage

Digi TX54 4G/5G: Full-featured, Highly Reliable Cellular Router

Digi’s rugged, purpose-built cellular router family includes the next generation FirstNet Trusted™ Digi TX54, with additional advanced features to support smart traffic management, disaster preparedness and critical infrastructure applications. The TX54 line is recently expanded with 5G models for next-generation transportation use cases.

Digi TX54 is a mobile router designed for rugged performance and reliable, high-speed communications. Built to MIL-STD-810G, the device operates reliably in the harsh conditions facing equipment installed in traffic cabinets in urban intersections and industrial applications, including extreme temperatures, humidity, shock and dust.

Designed to meet the demands of first responders and others requiring reliable connectivity for critical communications, Digi TX54 also includes cellular modules supporting data prioritization on Band 14. These modules provide dual cellular radios giving critical industries and public responders communications priority on public mobile networks.

Additionally, Digi TX54 is CBRS certified. Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) is ideal for localized private LTE networks. CBRS utilizes access points similar to Wi-Fi, but has longer range, better performance and is more secure than Wi-Fi and proprietary technologies like LoRA.

Unique Needs of Traffic Management Systems

Traffic cameras

Traffic management is undergoing a massive evolution, as cities move to smart traffic management systems that gain more control, automate processes, obtain better insights into congestion and other problems across the city, and most importantly, ease traffic problems and improve emergency routing without widening city streets.

Smart traffic management systems require sophisticated communications that support applications such as adaptive control – improving upon scheduled and metered traffic light systems to better direct and control traffic automatically based on current conditions.

Today’s smart traffic management systems also must support public safety and disaster planning, ensuring that critical communications are always prioritized, that first responders can get accurate, real time information, and that in the event of a major disaster requiring evacuation or other emergency measures, the city is prepared.

These systems must integrate into existing traffic management infrastructure to control costs and facilitate rapid deployment, and enable the applications of the future, including Connected Vehicle – which will soon provide vehicle-to-intersection communications for automated emergency braking and improved safety on city streets. The TX54 is uniquely positioned to meet this needs of this market.

Key Features of Digi TX64 and TX54

The addition of these routers to the Digi cellular router family is the culmination of an initiative to create enhanced features consolidated within a unified operating system, while augmenting key functionality differentiating Digi and supporting critical customer requirements.

Examples include the following features that appear on both the Digi TX64 and TX54:

  1. Digi Remote Manager®: Digi Remote Manager is a secure hosted solution for monitoring and managing all deployed devices, including automated security remediation and notifications, mass firmware updates and out-of-band management.
  2. Multicast: Enables one cellular router to communicate with many devices with the same IP scheme.
  3. Digi TrustFence®: Digi’s industry-leading security framework is integrated into all of our cellular routers, providing security for known and unforeseen security threats at multiple levels. Read more about Digi TrustFence.
  4. Digi SureLink®: Digi’s link integrity monitoring solution is designed to maintain an “always-on” connection that mitigates drops. It includes a programmable inactivity timer and pro-active link integrity monitoring. Read more about Digi SureLink.
  5. Multiple routing protocols: The new OS includes several supported protocols for differing needs, including OSPF.
  6. Dual APN (split tunnel): Enables concurrent public APN (for passenger Wi-Fi) and private APN (for system communications).
  7. DNS Update.  Enables update of a DNS server when a bus or railcar reaches the depot, marrying the Wi-Fi interface IP address (which changes at every depot) to the hostname of the router.
  8. EN50155 certified: Recently added to the TX54 to allow for use in more rail applications. EN50155 is an international standard covering electronic equipment used on rolling stock for railway applications. The standard covers aspects of this electronic equipment, including temperature, humidity, shock and vibration.
  9. Long term support: Digi equipment is designed for longevity, and over 30 years of reliability stories concur. Digi is committed to the centralized software platform built into the TX router line and future cellular products with a standard user experience. Additionally, LTE (“long term evolution”) networks have a very long expected lifespan, and LTE products will share the same networks as 5G, offering a seamless migration path.

Additional Applications for High-Speed Digi Cellular Routers

Numerous customer applications require the features available in the Digi TX64 and TX54 cellular routers, such as speed, processing power, and ruggedized enclosures that withstand harsh environmental factors such as extreme temperature, shock, vibration and dust. Let’s have a look at a few of these.

Applications for High-Performance Routers in Utilities

Many utility companies are upgrading infrastructure to reduce costs, gain better insights into remote installations, and improve management capabilities as well as disaster preparedness.
Some of the key needs include:

  • Wi-Fi access for large groups
  • Vehicle telematics collection
  • Emergency response kits
  • Asset tracking and asset management
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting of transformers, substations, relays and water mains
  • Dispatch and primary site communication
  • Protection against communication failures in the event of severe weather

With cellular, utilities have failover capabilities from wired infrastructure, as well as reduced management and maintenance costs. Digi cellular routers offer the availability and reliability required to ensure uptime, as well as the high-speed connectivity to manage critical data transfer and communications, and ensure responsiveness in the event of disasters.

Applications for Security Monitoring and Emergency Response

Safety, security, emergency response and disaster preparedness are more top-of-mind than ever, and today’s high-performance network solutions need to deliver on the key requirements. These include:

  • Priority and pre-emptive communications for first responders.
  • Rapid and reliable communications for traffic management to safely and quickly route emergency vehicles, re-route city traffic around incidents, and support evacuation and disaster preparedness planning.
  • Data communications for emergency digital signage.
  • On-site security monitoring in correctional facilities and secure operational environments.

Connect with us to speak with a Digi representative who can help identify the right solution for the communications requirements of your city government or industrial application.

Next Steps

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