A key target is edge sites, which can be part of larger companies, but which serve niche use cases that will give them 5G and cellular technology that is priced for the use case, and far superior from a technology perspective than the consumer grade products that are often used for these purposes now.
Cradlepoint, which focuses on cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network edge solutions, and which has concentrated more on the enterprise space in the past, has entered a new market with the release of the E100 5G Enterprise Router. It is specifically designed to support retail and small office applications — including POS, video surveillance, inventory applications, and IT. It does so with the most up to date technology, including the performance of 5G with modern security through Cradlepoint NetCloud Exchange, integrated SD-WAN and zero trust.
Fadi Mansour, Channel Sales and Distribution Director, Canada at Cradlepoint, acknowledged that this is a new market for Cradlepoint, but emphasized that it makes sense within their broader strategy.
“Historically, we are a secure enterprise company that focuses on cellular and 5G,” he said. “But we also have customers who use consumer grade products, where they can’t manage anything with them. With the E100, we have built a package that gives world class connectivity and the manageability that these companies’ IT departments need. We don’t want companies of any size having a bad experience with cellular. We want them to embrace 5G and cellular.”
The pop-up market is an important new component of this.
“When we look at retail, the footpoint is changing a bit,” Mansour noted. “People are now more likely to go to where their customer is, which means having the ability to pop up in places near events and concerts when they are going on, and to do so at a modern high-performance grade. There are also important use cases where the E100 fits, of which construction is one. A lot of sites have been using consumer grade connectivity and they have been having problems as a result.”
Previously, since Cradlepoint had no purpose-built solution for this space, customers who wanted more than consumer grade options still had limited choices.
“We saw customers using a variety of our products, like our ruggedized IoT solutions,” Mansour said. “Others went for a higher scale of device. The E100 5G router is more purpose built for this market, and its price is optimized for it.”
Mansour also emphasized that the E100 is not a stripped-down version of Cradlepoint’s router portfolio.
“We didn’t want to remove features – we just wanted to appeal to this customer set,” he said. “It’s still the latest 5G gear. We maintain NCX and Netcloud feature capability, and Zero Trust network capability. VPNs can be complicated for this market. This is simpler, is very scalable and is good to work from home.”
The Connect-and-go zero trust architecture secures the WAN by enabling the replacement of complex VPNs with a more secure zero trust network. Other features include integrated and easy to configure failover for hybrid WAN or dual cellular locations, the latest 5G standard to match the latest capabilities from carriers, and scalability that will support thousands of small offices and temporary sites with few or little staff.
Mansour said that in the Canadian market, this will have appeal to both SMBs and enterprises.
“We work with a lot of MSPs, and a lot of them are SMB-focused providers, particularly because a lot of Canadian business is SMB,” he indicated. But we are also seeing larger organizations with a need for this. Some organizations will never fully go back to the days when everyone was in the office, with home offices and with more remote locations that employees can go to instead.
“This is exciting for Cradlepoint,” Mansour concluded. “It’s a new device, and it’s always nice to get something new out to market. We also aren’t known for this market segment, and we are looking forward to getting into it.”