Cradlepoint gears up for Canadian 5G push with first Canadian country manager

Jason Falovo, who was the first Meraki employee in Canada, comes to Cradlepoint, to leverage their expertise in cellular as 5G begins its rise in Canada.

Jason Falovo, area vice president and general manager of the Canadian region, Cradlepoint

Boise-based WAN edge networking specialist Cradlepoint has officially announced the appointment of their first Canadian-based country manager. Jason Falovo, who had been the Cisco Meraki sales director in Canada, takes the helm in Cradlepoint to lead the company’s push to 5G in Canada, looking to leverage the advantages there which come from Cradlepoint’s cellular focus.

Cradlepoint has had a presence in Canada for years, but in the past it has been managed by senior U.S. based executives who had Canada responsibility as an add-on to their main job.

“I’m the first Cradlepoint country manager in Canada,” Falovo told ChannelBuzz. “Given the changes in the market, and especially the growing opportunity around 5G, the company thought it made sense to have someone who was actually working in Canada running things.”

Along with Falovo came a general upgrade in resources for Canada. He joined the company in January, and began building out a team.

“We hired five people in my first three months, and have added 2 more open head count in Western Canada,” he said. “We now have 12 total, including 2 in BC and three based out of headquarters in Boise.” All of the Canadian staff are home based.

The plan in the year ahead is to expand east of Ontario.

“We don’t have any staff in Quebec yet, but we do have partners there,” Falovo said. Our partner of the year last year was out of Quebec. We have key customers there, including the City of Laval.”

Falovo started with Meraki as their first employee in Canada in February 2012, stayed when Cisco acquired Meraki at the end of 2012, and rose to Canadian Sales Director responsible for all Canadian Cisco Meraki revenues. He decided to leave in January 2020 to join Cradlepoint.

“I made the decision because I noticed a trend in the last 3-6 months where customers were thinking of cutting the cord with existing providers,” he said. With 5G coming and the Canadian carrier landscape changing, with consumer unlimited plans, and business plans being more affordable, I wanted to be with the leader in the wireless cellular space.”

Falovo said that for Cradlepoint, the Canadian market is basically a smaller version of the U.S. in terms of market demand. Their efforts are focused on three areas. First and most significant is the branch market, which has always been the failover market on which Cradlepoint concentrated, and now revolves around wireless LAN with Gigabit-Class LTE, and the developing 5G market. The other two are the mobile market, where Cradlepoint competes with companies like Vancouver’s Sierra Wireless, and the IoT space, which Falovo said has been accelerated by COVID across the country.

“The fact that we have been cellular-focused since 2006 is important,” Falovo stressed. “Others have been doing it for 1 or 2 years, giving us a clear advantage.” He recalled the Cisco Meraki kickoff for this last fall, when they announced their cellular product.

“Our NetCloud Manager also has the ability to prioritize tools, which is something that our competitors don’t have right now,” he added.

Cradlepoint is focused on leveraging its cellular strength in the 5G market, which has been developing slowly, and is still years from having the same coverage that 4G does today, but which is gradually expanding.

“All three big carriers in Canada are now offering 5G in certain areas,” Falovo said. “We feel that we are in a good position to enable customers with that technology. Customers want to see a strategy and a plan around 5G. That’s a major differentiator between what we do and our competitors do. We are prepared to go down that path and have a plan, and we are doing this today and not just talking about it.”

Falovo also wants to get their channel involved in 5G. Cradlepoint sells entirely through channel partners, and their channel in Canada is substantial, but many of them, particularly the traditional VARs, haven’t been involved in cellular before.

“Most of them have not focused on cellular because it was expensive, and it didn’t perform well,” he said. “Now, we are enabling them with a new technology here that they can take to market. We are really focused on the channel, and want them to see that there’s a new revenue stream here. That’s the big message, that 5G is coming and that this is something that we have been planning and working on it for years.”