Cradlepoint Ships 5G Enterprise Router

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By: Mary Jander

Wireless edge solution provider Cradlepoint is shipping its E3000 Series 5G Enterprise Router, announced back in May 2021, to an enthusiastic series of customers, highlighting the importance enterprises place on having multiple options in their wireless branch gear.

For instance, many businesses are deploying Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum to boost performance of their private 5G networks. But incorporating the WiFi- and Ethernet-connected gear that inhabits existing environments is a challenge. Enter the E3000, which supports CBRS in 5G and LTE environments and features Ethernet switching.

By offering this kind of adaptability, Cradlepoint, which is owned by Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC), manages to cover a wide swath of requirements for companies making the transition from legacy wireless and VPNs to 5G.

A Range of Use Cases

Cradlepoint tacked a series of testimonials to its announcement to illustrate various E3000 use cases. For example: John Chaney, IT communications manager for the City of Irving, Texas, used a 5G wideband adapter along with Verizon’s Ultra Wideband service (which uses high-speed but relatively short-range mmWave spectrum in over 70 U.S. cities) to record municipal Fourth of July celebrations. “We reached a level of cellular performance capacity we’d never seen before,” Chaney said.

Another customer, Seth Cummings, CEO of GoDog Sports, which offers streaming services for sporting events, cited the difficulties of reaching multiple camera locations. “At youth sports facilities, wired broadband for our video streaming services is … expensive to install,” he said. Cradlepoint solved the problem by providing connectivity to remote cameras.

The ability to use 5G in remote locations that have depended on cell service was a selling point for Robert Reeder, VP of IT for Henley Enterprises, a franchise group of Valvoline Instant Oil Change. “We’ve had great success utilizing cellular as our primary internet connection in areas where high-speed broadband is scarce,” Reeder said. “For customer satisfaction, risk mitigation, safety, and training, we employ a lot of high-definition video cameras in our stores. The performance of 5G will improve our video streaming capabilities.”

Speeds and Feeds

The E3000 includes the following features (a partial list taken from the press release):

  • Wire-speed Unified Edge Security with app-level control, IPS/IDS, IP reputation, web content filtering, and micro-segmenting firewall.
  • Choice of 5G, high-speed fiber and 2.5 Gbps Ethernet WAN ports.
  • LTE and 5G connectivity options, including an embedded 5G modem for low/mid-band, plus a field-upgradable modem slot for a second Gigabit LTE or 5G connection (early 2022).
  • Nine downstream switched Ethernet ports (4 with PoE) plus Wi-Fi 6 and optional Bluetooth 5.1.

To support the E3000, Cradlepoint offers its NetCloud for Enterprise Branch subscription service, which features high-end routing functions, VPN connectivity, and wireless-optimized software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) capabilities. Other service features include security services, Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, and connection management functions.

Customers can order the wireless router for shipment within 30 days, the vendor said.

Outlook for E3000

Cradlepoint competes against many companies involved in delivering branch connectivity to 5G networks, including Barracuda, FatPipe Networks, and Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR). That puts Cradlepoint in a distinguished category, and if it can maintain its momentum, it stands to hold its place in an enterprise market increasingly reaching for 5G opportunities.