Along with the myriad of wireless tablets showcased at this week’s International Consumer Electronics Show, Verizon Wireless and Cisco Systems Inc. announced plans for a 3G/4G tablet aimed at business users, with heightened security permissions and policies as well as Cisco collaboration applications.
Verizon Wireless said it would be the first operator to carry an LTE version of the Cisco Cius, a business tablet set to go on sale this spring. The companies did not announce prices for the product.
“The device is all about extending that business communications experience to the mobile user on a purpose-built communications tablet,” said Chris Kemmerer, associate director of Unified Communications and Collaboration, for Verizon Wireless. The Cius features a 7-inch diagonal display screen and uses Google Inc.’s Android operating system with Cisco’s additional security executive VPN service, enabling a secure connection between the mobile device and the enterprise. The tablet also is designed to extend Cisco’s unified business communications and collaboration product portfolio, including TelePresence, WebEx and Unified Communications Manager, to the mobile workforce.
When the Cius launches in Spring, it will come with embedded Wi-Fi functionality and have to use Verizon Wireless’ MiFi modem to gain 4G connectivity, Kemmerer said. The companies expect the tablet to come embedded with the LTE protocol in midsummer, said Mark Lohmeyer, VP of product management, Service Routing Technology Group for Cisco.
The device will be sold through Cisco resellers, while Verizon Wireless and Verizon Business will sell accompanying service plans.
Because the tablet is targeted at businesses, the IT department can control security on the tablet, enabling employees access to some applications but not others. In addition,
In addition, the companies also announced that Verizon’s 4G module will be included on Cisco’s second-generation Integrated Services Router (ISR G2), which targets small- and medium-sized business customers. Adding 4G services to the router will enable business users to not only use the wireless broadband service as a backup to other broadband service but as a primary connection, Lohmeyer said.