Cradlepoint expands 4G LTE WWAN platform with AER 3100 solution

The new AER 3100 offers a more powerful, higher value option for micro and small branch offices.

aer3100-with-antennaBoise-based 4G LTE WAN networking specialist Cradlepoint has enhanced its small branch networking capability with the AER 3100, a new solution aimed at micro and small branch offices.

Cradlepoint’s focus is cloud managed 4G routing solutions. The company was founded in 2006 to serve the consumer space, and while they still have products for that market, in 2011 they pivoted to the enterprise space, which remains their main business today. The commercial market has grown at a 790 per cent growth rate since 2011, with over a million units deployed. Their primary markets are retail, branch offices, restaurants, convenience stores, digital signage and kiosks.

“Our customers range from small businesses to large enterprises, and companies like Starbucks and Walmart use us for parallel networking,” said David Murray, Cradlepoint’s Director of Product Marketing. Parallel networking is used for subsidiary networks within these stores — like the tax preparation services in Walmart at tax time – where neither party would want these businesses on the store’s main network. They are also commonly used in modern supermarkets, which can have dozens of small boutique operations on their floors.

“Cisco and the bigger players have overlooked this space – which is why they purchased Meraki – but no one does 4G better than us,” Murray said. Meraki is their principal competitor in the U.S., with Sierra Wireless also being an important competitor in Canada.

The new AER 3100 offers a more powerful, higher value option in the space where Cradlepoint has been selling the AER 2100.

“This isn’t a replacement for the AER 2100, but it is bigger, faster and more robust,” Murray said. “It has more ports, PoE, and a faster processor. It expands our product line.”

Murray said that as 4G becomes more ubiquitous, Cradlepoint is moving into the wiring closet, and they see that as a key destination for the AER 3100.

David Murray Cradlepoint 300

David Murray, Cradlepoint’s Director of Product Marketing

“Our AER platform is the only 4G LTE network platform that provides dual-modem multi-carrier support, and this dual modem capability with the 3100 will work really well in the wiring closet,” Murray said. “It lets you actually switch carriers if you want, depending on signal strength, to optimize your 4G connections.”

Murray said that Cradlepoint has a 70 per cent market share in the failover market for 4G bridges, and that they expect the AER 3100 to be deployed for this purpose as well.

The AER 3100’s sweet spot will be the market with under ten people in the branch,

“We see this fitting into the mobile and micro branch space – with one to three people in the branch, and customers being organizations like small insurance agencies,” Murray said. “We also see it doing well in small branches, with 3-10 people, where the quick service food industry is important.”

The AER 3100 also has Unified Threat Management capabilities through partnerships with Zscaler, Trend Micro and Asavie.

While Cradlepoint has an internal team of field sales people and sales engineers, their commercial market sales go 100 per cent through channel partners. In Canada, they have between 85 and 100 reseller partners, and use Ingram Micro, BlueStar and SYNNEX for distribution. VARs play a stronger role in the U.S. go-to-market than in Canada, however.

“In Canada, the carrier relationships are different,” Murray said. “”In the U.S., the sales tend to go through a VAR and the carrier is the last line in the chain. In Canada, Rogers and Telus also want to sell the hardware, so they often act as the reseller.”