Cisco Systems this week announced its Cisco Mobile Government solution, which is designed to give public-safety and government workers mobile access to high-speed applications via wireless connections in licensed and unlicensed bands.

While many no-cost Wi-Fi systems have been built by service providers in cities throughout the U.S., many have been disappointments to municipal governments, which have found the networks lacking in the reliability that governments needs, especially for public-safety applications, said Morgan Wright, Cisco’s global industry solution manager for public safety and homeland security. Cisco believes its solution, which is focused on government usage and requires government funding, is more appropriate technologically and economically, he said.

“It really should be—first and foremost—about public safety and service effectiveness, and that’s what we call Cisco Mobile Government,” Wright said during an interview with MRT. “If this were a corporation, government would be a majority shareholder—not a minority one, like they were in the past.

“We believe it’s about solving the issues of government first to get to the issues that aren’t always government-related, which are social inclusion, rural broadband and economic development—things that will come, if you do it right up front.”

From a technological standpoint, the Cisco solution includes government-level security and power backup to its new 1520 series wireless broadband platform, said Joel Vincent, Cisco’s senior manager of outdoor wireless systems. Currently, Cisco is shipping a two-radio version of the gear, but a four-radio version will ship in January that will enable access at 2.4 GHz, 4.9 GHz and 5.8 GHz, with an open slot that can be deployed with a radio for another band, such as 700 MHz, he said.