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Cradlepoint offers pathway for simplified LTE, 5G wireless WAN deployments

Cloud LTE and 5G wireless network edge services provider unveils business-grade wireless WANs, with management capabilities that are claimed to exceed entry-level cellular offerings

As enterprise mobility options increase, so does the pressure on IT departments to manage their technology estate. To address this need, Cradlepoint has launched the Cellular Intelligence collection of software features, to let IT teams avoid having to contact SIM providers manually, confirm current contracts and then request any changes to data plans.

To meet what it calls the unique demands of cellular networking – especially as the Wireless WAN scales – Cradlepoint believes IT managers will need a new set of tools. The company noted research from IDC showing that as 5G adoption rates continue to rise, by 2024, “wireless first” will be mainstream for wide area connectivity, accelerating the decision of 65% of organisations to “untether” their operations.

Moreover, CradlePoint assured that as this demand for cellular adoption increases, Cellular Intelligence will give IT teams the necessary tools to manage the unique demands of cellular through what it claimed were “sophisticated” management and control capabilities.

At its heart, Cellular Intelligence includes SIM Management, based on the integration of Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator with Cradlepoint’s NetCloud and other databases, and is said to be able to sense, orchestrate and optimise connections, data plans and traffic of cellular networking deployments in a unique manner.

The InCustomers option allows the activation and management of cellular routers, SIMs and data plans from a single point. This new extension of Cellular Intelligence is said to highlight Cradlepoint’s commitment to providing enterprises with the freedom to simply connect people, places, and things from anywhere.

Cradlepoint added that the functionality that may be deployed by IT teams will encompass management, control and security capabilities. Teams will have the ability to access live stats, health dashboards and gain cellular data breakout by carrier, connection type and network type by 5G – for example, mmWave or sub-6 band – to increase visibility and control of cellular services.

The integrated SIM Management tools are designed to provide peace of mind with centralised and precise consumption visibility and control of data plans across the Wireless WAN, while cellular signal mapping is intended to allow organisations, such as public safety agencies, to map and display cellular reception across driven routes. Software-driven modem functionality can optimise connectivity across multiple modems, and multiple carriers, for predictable and persistent cellular connectivity.

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What are claimed as unique, cellular-optimised SD-WAN capabilities can enable traffic steering policies based on applications and real-time WAN conditions, ensuring quality of experience, while application-aware visibility, reporting and controls give administrators visibility to the performance of their applications so they can easily take corrective action if needed.

Application-based failover control allows IT organisations to control exactly which applications and functions utilise a cellular failover connection. For example, IT departments can suspend guest Wi-Fi access when on cellular failover. The cellular-efficient secure management protocol offers in-depth diagnostic, alerting and log data to improve troubleshooting without impacting customer data plans.

John Moss, founder and CEO of KFP, a European retail and hospitality IT provider and support partner, said Cradlepoint’s Cellular Intelligence capabilities are potentially “invaluable” in helping the firm’s large retail and hospitality customers.

“With the comprehensive insights provided by NetCloud, which now extend into the SIMs and associated data plans, we have the tools that we need to provide amazing 5G solutions that will prevent potential overspend on data plans, and enable our retail and hospitality customers to focus on providing an outstanding experience for their in-store customers,” he said.

“We have now officially entered a 5G-driven world. IT teams are going to be faced with the complexities of managing and controlling a distributed Wireless WAN,” said Donna Johnson, senior vice-president of marketing at Cradlepoint. “Cellular Intelligence, which is embedded in everything Cradlepoint does, simplifies cellular deployments with more predictable connectivity, deeper insights and more accurate cost containment. It goes well beyond adding an off-the-shelf modem to a router, and gives network administrators the tools they need to secure, manage and control a distributed Wireless WAN – at scale.”

One of the latest Cellular Intelligence features – SIM Management – is based on an integration with Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator platform. Communication service providers and other channel partners that utilise IoT Accelerator will now be able to provide customers with the ability to view, activate and adjust cellular data plans in real time for their Cradlepoint devices. There are also plans to integrate with SIM aggregation databases to provide broader visibility across all global carriers’ data plans. With these integrations, Cradlepoint Cellular Intelligence now exclusively provides real-time SIM Management capability.

“Cradlepoint, together with Ericsson IoT, has extended SIM Management to Cradlepoint’s portfolio of cellular-enabled routers and adapters for fixed site, mobile and IoT use cases,” said Kyle Okamoto, general manager of IoT at Ericsson. “Now, any ecosystem member that utilises the Ericsson IoT Accelerator platform can extend SIM Management functionality to Cradlepoint devices, providing our global partners with service differentiation and giving enterprise customers yet another powerful tool to help manage the cost and performance of their Wireless WAN deployment.”

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