Coming soon: On-premises 5G gear for enterprises

As 5G networks become a reality, vendors including D-Link, Inseego, Netgear and Samsung are readying 5G gateways, routers and mobile hotspots

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With all major mobile carriers expected to offer 5G this year, enterprises that want to take advantage of this next-gen mobile data service need to start thinking about how to support it on site.

Anticipation is keen for 5G, given that it promises to deliver faster speeds and lower latency than the current premium wireless technology, 4G LTE. Ideally, 5G networks could deliver fast internet to areas of the country where wired broadband is unavailable, and more reliable connections to a variety of devices including not only computers and smartphones but also appliances, automobiles and security systems.

But to use these services as a WAN option, businesses need hardware that can connect it to their existing wired and wireless LANs.Here's a rundown of the device makers that are known or rumored to be providing networking gear to pipe 5G to your office.

D-Link 5G gateway

D-Link revealed its DWR-2010 5G NR Enhanced Gateway in January. The device accepts a SIM card to receive 5G and 4G LTE signals from a carrier and routes them to devices connected to it by Wi-Fi or Ethernet. It has AC2600 dual band Wi-Fi (which transmits up to 800 Mbps and 1732 Mbps for each band) with MU-MIMO, and 5 Ethernet ports.

dlink dwr 2010 D-Link

D-Link’s 5G NR Enhanced Gateway will be available in the second half of 2019.

It supports D-Link's own Wi-Fi Mesh Technology (which allows for it to be networked with other D-Link routers) and Voice over LTE to let you make voice calls on your carrier's LTE network.

The DWR-2010 is scheduled for release sometime in the second half of 2019. Many D-Link devices are sold to the general public. It remains to be seen if this will be true with the DWR-2010. For now the company lists its price as "varied" depending on which 5G carrier will provide it for its customers.

HTC 5G hub

HTC and Sprint announced in November that they're working together to develop a mobile 5G "smart hub" to support the carrier's 5G network. (Sprint's 5G network is set to launch sometime in the first half of this year.) The intial announcement revealed only that the device will run Qualcomm's Snapdragon x50 5G modem chipset.

More details emerged in December, when a 5G hub device developed by HTC was revealed for use on Australian carrier Telstra's 5G network. The HTC 5G Hub for Telstra has a display about the size of a small smartphone to show status information for 5G and Wi-Fi signals, and the devices connected to it. It's speculated that the display – larger than usual for a hotspot – could also be used to show pictures and video. As of this writing, it hasn't been confirmed if the HTC 5G Hub is the same smart hub device that Sprint will sell to customers to use on its 5G network.

Huawei's 5G devices

In February of last year, Huawei announced devices that would run its own 5G chipset, the Balong 5G01. The company claimed it would be the first to support the final 5G specifications sanctioned by 3GPP, the trade group that governs cellular standards. Huawei also revealed two 5G router devices: A large unit that comes in both indoor and outdoor models, and a smaller unit for indoor use. At the time, the larger 5G models were being tested on a major Canadian carrier, Telus.

But ongoing controversy is impeding the Chinese company's plans. The U.S. government accuses Huawei of enabling spying through its devices, perhaps at the behest of the Chinese government. So Huawei has been banned from supplying its equipment to the U.S.'s emerging 5G networks. Australia and New Zealand have also decided to fully ban Huawei from their nations' 5G infrastructure.

Inseego 5G mobile hotspot

Inseego has two 5G routers, both for the Verizon's 5G network that launched in October. The first, the R1000, is a white cylinder that takes the 5G signal from Verizon’s towers and forwards it to devices connected to it. It supports Wi-Fi with 4x4 MIMO technology and Voice over LTE, has power-over-Ethernet capability and can run on a battery that is replaceable.

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