Wednesday, September 12

Cisco Partners Target Georgia Municipalities

By joe

Imagine my surprise: I went to Dublin, Ireland this week to attend a Cisco Systems partner conference. I expected to blog non-stop about channel-related news. And then I ran into an integrator and an application provider that are partnering to build municipal broadband applications in Georgia. It was the perfect story for our sister site, MuniWireless. Here’s the scoop.

The two companies, Digitel and Cistera, seem to complement each other well. While Digitel focuses on Cisco infrastructure, Cistera develops applications to run atop that infrastructure. Digitel has also launched an internet service provider (ISP) business to serve rural areas that big broadband providers ignore.

Together, Cistera and Digitel see at least 100 opportunities for municipal broadband across Georgia. And the duo is going to market together to win business across several states.

One prime example: Cistera has deployed an event alerting and notification system for the city of Opelika, Alabama. The application runs across an IP telephony system deployed by Digitel.

Cistera also works with several other IT hardware providers, including Nortel. For instance, Cistera designs a software-based Land Mobile Radio (LMR) that connects with Nortel’s IP telephony systems.

The software gives IP phone users “push-to-talk,” recording capabilities, and dynamic talk groups, to speed emergency communications.

I only had about 20 minutes to speak with Cistera and Digitel at Cisco’s Dublin event. But their relationship provides a guiding light for network hardware providers that are seeking to link up with application providers in the municipal broadband market. It sounds like the duo will announce a new municipal broadband engagement in the next few weeks. We’ll post the details here and on MuniWireless.com as soon as they’re announced.