It’s time to explore the huge opportunities in 5G-enabled Wireless WAN , says Cradlepoint
This month Ericsson completed its acquisition of Cradlepoint, a global leader in cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network edge solutions for branch, mobile and IoT networks, having announced its intention to buy the company in September.
The addition of Cradlepoint to its portfolio will strengthen Ericsson’s 5G offering for enterprises and enable it to compete in a fast growing part of the market that is benefiting from the roll-out of 5G, the internet of things and the need for advanced connectivity to support businesses’ digital transformation.
Founded in 2006, Cradlepoint specialises in subscription-based wireless wide area network (WWAN) solutions that connect fixed and mobile sites, vehicles, remote and mobile workers and IoT devices, at the edge, in a simple and secure way using 4G and 5G cellular technology.
The company’s acquisition by Ericsson will help accelerate its global expansion, which was already underway from new offices in Australia and London, with the roll-out of an expanded EMEA channel partner programme announced in the summer.
Senior Vice President James Bristow says WWAN technology is a huge and fast growing opportunity for partners right now because high speed 4G and 5G have overcome the traditional wireless networking challenges of latency, reach and reliability and made WWAN a compelling solution for IoT, mobility and enterprise branch – what he calls Cradlepoint’s three technology swim lanes.
“You need a wireless WAN for multiple reasons: the abundance of devices that are going to connect into it being one of them; the need for speed very close to the edge; and the ability to take advantage of this new infrastructure that is being built across the world with 5G,” he said.
“We are going through a new wave of distributed data, where application intelligence and information needs to be worked quickly at the edge. An example would be a connected car and devices that are in motion. If you don’t have speed and you don’t have reliability at the edge, it could cause a car crash. If you don’t have that at the edge in the medical world, it could cost a life. That’s really where 5G has its play: highly reliable networks, high performance, great range and coverage.”
Cradlepoint’s philosophy to date has been ‘wireless where you can, wired where you must’, but Bristow says that Cradlepoint, like Ericsson, envisages a completely wireless future.
“With high speed 4G, we can get hundreds of Megabits per second, Gigabit-type performance. With 5G, its Gigabits per second, so the question you ask yourself is ‘why do I need wires anymore, if I can already get that type of performance’. So, we will compete against wireline technologies. But we also accompany wire. If somebody has an MPLS link and the link needs reliability, it is very expensive to have multiple MPLS circuits. To have a wireless device providing redundancy or resilience is a great option,” he said.
“With 5G and LTE today, you have an incredible replacement option that maps well for a lot of companies. The casualties will be technologies like MPLS and traditional networking technologies that provide branch connectivity or enterprise connectivity.”
Another key change highlighted by Bristow is that whereas in the past the onus would have been on Cradlepoint to educate the market, now the market is coming to it – and that includes the channel.
“We are actively recruiting now and partners are starting to come to us,” he said. “The size of opportunities we see, the pipeline of opportunities we are building at the moment is vast and this is in part due to the new partners we have engaged; in part due to the investment we have made in resources to go after new business; and also because, with Covid and people working from home, businesses are connecting in a very different way. They are looking for enterprise-grade connectivity and that is what Cradlepoint provides. We tick a lot of boxes for individuals, for power enterprise users in companies that have had to adapt because of Covid.”
He added: “Our technology is all over the UK already. We are in the public sector, you find us in fire and rescue, you find us in ambulances, you find us in police cars, you find us in retail stores, in banks, in lots of different applications in the IoT space and utilities. We see all of these technology swim lanes illuminating right now. Yet, we are still under-distributed and under-marketed in the UK and we need partners to share our perspective with their customers. As soon as the customer hears it, they get what we do. It is easy to sell, easy to deploy and easy to make money with.”
To find out more about Cradlepoint’s diverse range of empowerment initiatives, including its Technical Alliance Partner programme (TAP), industry-first 5G for Enterprise Branch Specialisation portfolio and increased investments in people, platforms and programmes, please visit: