November 30, 2020
Cradlepoint has revealed plans for expansion in Europe as it pursues a multibillion-dollar opportunity for 5G enterprise in the region.
It follows the wireless edge vendor’s $1.1 billion acquisition by Ericsson, which wrapped earlier this month. The deal forms part of Ericsson’s strategy to capture market share in the 5G enterprise.
“In the Americas, we were extensively a 4G company,” said James Bristow, SVP of Cradlepoint EMEA. “A 4G solution that got picked up by AT&T and Verizon, and the largest US distributors. In international, it’s very much a 5G play.”
This summer the British government announced a landmark new funding boost for 5G technology. It added an extra £30 million to its wider £200 million 5G Testbeds and Trials programme (5GTT). More recently Apple spurred consumer interested in the technology with the first iPhones to support 5G.
Ericsson predicts that more than 1 billion people will have access to 5G coverage by the end of 2020.
Cradlepoint’s James Bristow
“Now suddenly everyone wants to talk about 5G. So it’s quite an interesting time for us,” said Bristow. “Where we’ve been educating this market for so long, the market is starting to come to us.”
The exec said Cradlepoint operates in three ‘swim lanes’: IoT, mobility and branch enterprise — which it calls the elastic edge. The firm has had a presence in the UK for some time “in a couple of those swim lanes”. It now, however, is “focusing on the market to develop full swim lane coverage.”
That, said Bristow, means expanding the number of resellers and service providers it works with.
“What’s good for us is the market is very receptive towards us. This is a technology people get instantly and they see the value of it.”
Previously delivering its core mobile network infrastructure to service providers, Cradlepoint now provides it with a footing in the enterprise.
“Where Ericsson excels is in the carrier core. Where we excel is in the enterprise edge,” said Bristow. “When you bring those together you have a very powerful combination. Because you’ve got the capability to build end-to-end networks which are completely wireless. And when we get into 5G technologies, we have some very advanced solutions that are materialising.
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“When you’re owned by a large company like Ericsson, we can accelerate our growth quite substantially. This will broaden our road map, in terms of our product range, and where we expand our reach into given markets.”
Cradlepoint is now pushing into three new markets: Southern Europe, Northern Europe and Central Europe. It is establishing operations, building out teams and recruiting partners.
“Our goal is to have two distributors in each supporting geography,” said Bristow. “Typically, they focus on different swim lanes. We would look for one that is highly enterprise-centric and another that may be a bit broader. The distributors will bring partners to us. We will also proactively recruit partners that we route through distribution as well. I think that demonstrates the dependency that we have on distribution.”
Cradlepoint will continue as standalone business with a separate channel and partner programme to Ericsson.
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