Digi adds Iridium satellite connectivity to ConnectPort X5 R rugged gateway

Digi ConnectPort X5 R Digi ConnectPort X5 R

Ilkley, W Yorkshire, UK. September 2011 – Digi International has announced that its ConnectPort® X5 R is now certified to use the Iridium (NASDAQ: IRDM) satellite network for global, two-way, low-latency data communications. The gateway is a compact, ruggedised tracking and telematics device that incorporates cellular, satellite, global positioning system (GPS), Wi-Fi and vehicle area network (VAN) wireless technology in a single enclosure to maximise connectivity flexibility. Ideal for fleet management and asset tracking applications, the ConnectPort X5 R provides remote connectivity to mobile assets via cellular or satellite networks.

“The addition of Iridium satellite technology to the ConnectPort X5 R allows us to virtually eliminate the ‘blind spot’ in cellular networks by providing a cost-effective wireless data network back-up to cellular,” said Larry Kraft, senior vice president of global sales and marketing, Digi International. “Iridium’s highly responsive satellite network features the latency and speed requirements necessary for fleet applications that require reliable, up-to-date telematics and remote tracking information.”

ZTR Control Systems, a manufacturer of remote monitoring and control systems for railway and industrial applications, is reported to be using the ConnectPort X5 R to connect its customers’ mobile and remote equipment. ZTR Control Systems also uses iDigi Manager Pro™ to configure and manage device deployments and integrate with fleet applications.

“Digi’s ConnectPort X5 R allows us to offer effective dual-mode communication with cellular and Iridium satellite connectivity for our mobile and remote equipment customers,” said Gary Biernat, director of sales and business development for ZTR Control Systems. “This truly allows us to stay connected wherever an asset may be deployed. iDigi Manager Pro also greatly simplifies system integration, deployment and management.”

The ConnectPort X5 R provides flexible wide area networking connectivity supporting cellular, Wi-Fi, GPS, vehicle area network (VAN) and satellite functionality. VANs allow users to deploy low-power sensor networks within and around a vehicle to monitor tyres, reefer units, door latches, temperature sensors, cargo sensors, RFID readers and other critical asset points. The ConnectPort X5 R also features J1939 and other vehicle bus types allowing it to interface with construction fleets and remote industrial equipment like engines and generators.

Clement Driscoll, founder and president of CJ Driscoll & Associates, a wireless location-based products market research firm comments: “This new ruggedised unit [ConnectPort X5 R] combining both cellular and Iridium satellite data communications should meet the needs of companies requiring extended wireless coverage for applications such as over-the-road trucking, mineral exploration, and monitoring of assets such as heavy equipment. In addition to North America, we envision interest in overseas markets where cellular coverage limitations create a strong need for dual-mode solutions.”

“Digi’s new product leverages our Iridium 9602 short-burst data transceiver technology,” said Patrick Shay, Iridium vice president and general manager for data services. “Digi’s design ingenuity leverages the Iridium 9602’s very small form factor and low power draw for an affordable turnkey embedded solution to enable global satellite data connections. Digi’s dual-mode solution will provide a standardised data platform for large enterprise customers seeking a seamless worldwide solution for remote asset tracking and monitoring.”

The ConnectPort X5 R features out-of-the-box cloud connectivity with the iDigi® Device Cloud™. The iDigi Device Cloud makes it easy to configure and manage device deployments and integrate with fleet applications. The ConnectPort X5 R is programmable in iDigi’s application framework (iDigi Dia) and Python. Customised hardware and software development is also available through Digi’s Spectrum Design Services.

Digi International aims to make wireless M2M communications easy by developing reliable products and solutions to connect and securely manage local or remote electronic devices over the network or via the Web. Digi markets its products through a global network of distributors and resellers, systems integrators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Iridium is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe, enabling connections between people, organisations and assets anywhere, in real time. The company has a major development programme under way for its next-generation network – Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, USA.

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