Last week, Cradlepoint announced the launch of its subscription-based NetCloud Private Networks solution, an SME-type enterprise solution targeted at office buildings, retail outlets, stadiums, hospitality venues, smart city, schools, etc. It will complement Ericsson’s Private 5G product which is designed primarily for industrial applications such as manufacturing, energy and utilities, etc, where low-latency, high reliability and business-critical capabilities are essential.
Key Features of NetCloud
Key features of NetCloud include:
A “Private Networks-in-a-Box” solution – which includes access points, core/gateway, network planning software, routers, private SIMs plus a single pane of glass cloud management and orchestration system via NetCloud.
Cradlepoint Distribution Channels – NetCloud will leverage Cradlepoint’s existing sales channels via network enterprise resellers, managed service providers, etc. Later in the year, the company plans to target distribution via mobile operators.
Flexible Customer Offering – based on a CAPEX or OPEX business model to suit customers. Enterprises can buy cellular access points, core capacity, etc on a capacity and service duration basis. For example, Cradlepoint offers 500Mbps 2 Gbps and 5 Gbps options for its core on a 3 or 5 year basis with SIM cards being sold in packs of 10.
At present, NetCloud is only available for use in the US’s 4G LTE CBRS market, but later this year, Cradlepoint will offer 5G radios for use in markets beyond the US, for example, Europe. The company also expects to introduce eSIM capabilities at the same time.
The key elements of Cradlepoint NetCloud solution are shown in Exhibit 1 below:
Exhibit 1: Overview of Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Private Network Solution
In the past year or so, there have been many “Private-Networks-in-a-Box” announcements from numerous vendors such as AWS, Cisco, HPE, etc. as well as operators such as Dish, etc. who believe that private network solutions can be marketed as an “out-of-a box” product like Wi-Fi. With so many offerings, this could turn out to be a very competitive market with thin margins, where success is largely determined by the vendors’ “go-to-market” strategy and distribution channels.
The launch of NetCloud is a clear indication that Ericsson (with Cradlepoint) plans to play across the whole breadth of the private networks market. Although surprisingly a bit late launching its own “box” solution, Counterpoint Research believes that Cradlepoint is well-positioned to benefit from the opportunities in this market due to its strong position in the enterprise market (32,000 customer base), its global distribution network of 6,000 resellers and partners – and backed by Ericsson’s connectivity expertise.