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881's 3G backup option

In a nutshell, I have about 20 x Cisco 881's and I want to purchase the 3G card for them. And I need an additional 20 routers on top of this w/ those 3G cards built in.

The specific model I have that need the 3G card is CISCO881WGNAK9

The model w/ the 3G card included is CISCO881GWGNAK9

[notice the extra G between 881 and WGNA]

So in I did some research and found this 3G card itself; it's actually made by Sierra Wireless, not Cisco.

It is the AirCard 597E, model# PCEX-3G-CDMA-V

NOTE: the V at the end indicates Verizon. The other model is for Sprint, ending in an S.


*drum rolls* This card is discontinued. I can't get it from my dealer, but I do see it being sold on various websites. It seems to go for around $150 plus or minus.

Which brings me to the SECOND PROBLEM:

The CISCO881WGNAK9 [w/o 3G] goes for ~ $600

The CISCO881GWGNAK9 [w/ 3G] goes for ~ $1100

$500 for one 3G card? That is just not realistic for this project.

Is this really my only option? Does Cisco have/recommend a USB 3G card that can be used instead?

I -like- this product. I want to use this product. I -don't- want to use dial-backup; I'd -much- rather use 3G. These 20 routers that are already in place have the PC-Card slot [as well as a USB slot]. Is there anything that can be done to get 3G on these guys? USB or otherwise?


No one has any advice or suggestions?



i have 881 with and without g,

You cann't plug in the umts...modem into the model without the g since the slot is missing,

also (if you cut a hole in the front) the inner machanic and slot is missing). Point.

Compared with 1841 plus hwic-umts (dont remember the real name)  we used first

it's not so expensive as you mention., and it is deliverd with antenna.

Iff you need some cisco-specific features going thru umts with the  single,, dynamic ip-adress

the 881G ist fine (or also the other 88x models with different *dsl interfaces and sometimes isdn backup) .

Iff you just want to have an umts-nat-surf-router, there are other options and el-cheapo boxes around,

for example from edimax (often relabeled, also model with li-accu). They also give you the src (linux based).

Or use you i-phone, but this also a quite expensive option.

But for the professional customers, the 881g with the umts-stick fits perfect into the ciso-landcape i tend to install;

being able to handle routing-protocols, nhrp, multilink gre-tunnels. vpn, etc etc, esp. as backup line., and ipv6 .

Iff you have such a project with 20..40 devices, you should check to get a project price, promotion, ...

Check all your cisco-resellers, bundles, etc.