Cradlepoint Scores Big, Pushes Wireless WAN Service

March 22, 2017

By Steve Anderson - Contributing Writer

Those putting wide area network (WAN) systems to use in corporate environments only seem to be growing in number, and as such, the companies looking to provide WAN, whether software-defined (SD-WAN) or in a hybrid WAN approach are on the rise as well. Recently, Cradlepoint noted its own significant advance in the field, demonstrated by landing an $89 million Series C funding round.

Cradlepoint offers an array of WAN solutions built around the major wireless connectivity options today, including 3G, 4G, and LTE (News - Alert). Cradlepoint's CEO George Mulheim notes that Cradlepoint was the first to offer a routing solution for LTE, giving it to Verizon. Additionally, it's got a set of branch routers that can offer connectivity in both broadband and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS). Cradlepoint's bread and butter, however, is its LTE connectivity capability, recently augmented by its purchase of Pertino back in 2015.

This combination of wireless connectivity and software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) operation gives it something of a unique offering in the field, and a unique offering often draws in new customers who simply can't get the thing in question anywhere else. That's valuable, and often means a great potential for future sales.

It's not only valuable today, but it's also valuable down the line. Cradlepoint allows for intelligent LTE traffic steering using an overlay concept others are using to optimize traffic on wired connections. The overall growth in wireless traffic demand puts Cradlepoint in an excellent position going forward, as the company can take advantage of the general growth of wireless but also the need to better use what wireless capability is currently at hand.  With the newly-received influx of capital, plans to drive further development in not just SD-WAN and 4G, but also in 5G, as well as the Internet of Things (IoT) market.

In this, Cradlepoint has revealed its one weakness, and one it's actively working to shore up. Most of Cradlepoint's systems deal with wireless systems that are active right now, like 3G and 4G and LTE. In about three years, there's going to be a big new star on the firmament—5G--that might well see 3G and potentially 4G taken out of the picture to make room for growth upward. The use of IoT technology is also on the rise, and considering reports that more people are going wireless rather than wired, being ready for these changes is vital.

Cradlepoint is already making changes to accommodate new connectivity, and that will make it more valuable and better able to fend off competitors in the WAN market.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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