Category Archives: Cradlepoint Wireless Gateway

The Evolution of Cellular Modems for Enterprise Networking

Evolution of Cellular Modems

Embedded Wireless Modems Eliminated the Challenges of External, USB-Based Modems

Wireless modems and connectivity for enterprise networking have come a long way. A variety of factors ranging from technological advancements to innovative customer use cases have transformed cellular modems into a critical component of how a company operates and succeeds — and with 5G on the horizon, that progress is poised to continue.

When modems were first introduced, they were analog, used DSL, and had a simple function: allow computers to connect and pass data to networks. With the advent of cellular technology came the possibility of sending data over wireless connections. This demonstrated the potential of wireless connections for both business and personal use.

The leap to modems that could transfer data wirelessly was significant but difficult. Passing data back and forth through the air was slow, limiting the types and volumes of data that companies could reasonably transfer wirelessly.

The Evolution of USB Modems

In response to the challenges associated with the first wireless modems, manufacturers took another evolutionary step and created USB modems. The first examples were the sleek, stick-like versions that many are familiar with today, but they were not very practical in customer applications.

With the introduction of 3G, individual users could transfer data much easier and faster via a USB modem connected to a laptop. Before Starbucks offered free WiFi to its customers, for example, a professional working remotely from a coffee shop could potentially use a USB modem and his or her laptop to connect to the Internet using cellular technology. Thanks to 3G, this connection was finally reliable and fast enough to truly make remote work — and access — possible.

As 3G developed into a viable data transfer mechanism, Cradlepoint realized the potential it presented and began adding support for USB modems in its routers. If an enterprise bought a router, it could get a USB modem from a provider (such as AT&T or Sprint) and plug it in; the device would then be able to connect. This setup essentially created the first forms of WiFi hot spots, as the Cradlepoint router was able to share a connection to the Internet.

Eliminating the Challenges of USB Modems

Customer creativity complemented, and even advanced, the technological evolution of modems. As wireless routers were able to transfer data more reliably and quickly, customers began using them in new, innovative ways. While in-vehicle deployment wasn’t necessarily part of the initial goal for developing wireless routers, emergency responders saw the potential of deploying wireless access in their vehicles.

However, USB modems presented unique challenges — most notably, form factor and durability. For instance, when police cars or ambulances took sharp turns quickly during emergencies, modems often were damaged or simply broke off. They weren’t designed to work in such conditions.

Further, USB modems stick out from whatever device they’re plugged into to, making them easy to steal by passersby.

When 3G eventually evolved into 4G, the USB stick modems were still in use by customers, but they started to prefer a smaller-footprint, embedded solution. Thus, Cradlepoint began buying the actual modem modules from vendors directly and embedding them into higher-quality, more compact enterprise routers — eliminating the challenges related to USB sticks.

The Benefits of Embedded Modems

The evolution from 3G to 4G ushered in significant improvements for connectivity. With 3G, some companies (such as Verizon and Sprint) were based on CDMA technology, while others (such as AT&T and T-Mobile) were based on GSM technology. The two technologies had disparate 3G speeds, and CDMA-based companies needed a way to increase their speeds. 4G and LTE met the challenge.

4G has ushered in a new chapter of modem evolution. Modern routers provide many more enhancements and solutions than the simple connected/disconnected features offered by the earliest USB devices.

Customer use cases have helped drive enhancements and solutions, too. Modems that used to be damaged in high-speed situations in ambulances and police cars, for instance, are now field-tested and shock-certified specifically for in-vehicle use.

Additional advancements include Auto Carrier Selection. With carrier-switchable embedded modems, Cradlepoint can self-detect the SIM and configure the modem to the given carrier automatically. This significantly boosts flexibility and reduces IT man-hours.

Of course, modems will never stop evolving. The combination of consumer creativity and technological innovation will always create new and exciting steps forward. Over its history, Cradlepoint has supported as many as 300 types of modems and continues to learn from its experiences supporting the evolution from USB devices to embedded modems. Overall, Cradlepoint continues to build on current LTE technologies and looks forward to the transition to 5G.

Source: Janice Mainvil-Cradlepoint

Cradlepoint Connect Provides New Levels of Cloud Management

How Remote Connect Provides New Levels of Cloud Management

Remote Connect LAN Manager

IT Administrators Can Manage Nearly Any LAN Device Through NetCloud Manager

The scope of things that organizations must connect to their enterprises network continues to expand, with seemingly no end in sight. In response, there are exciting new options for network administrators and IT teams to simply and securely access, manage, and troubleshoot virtually any device — from routers to just about anything that lives on the LAN.

Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Manager Remote Connect allows IT administrators to instantly and securely access devices remotely through the cloud. Remote Connect gives IT administrators a suite of functionality including secure, real-time remote cloud management of both Cradlepoint devices and third-party, LAN-connected devices — allowing them to be cloud managed from a single pane of glass with no additional setup.

Remotely Connect to LAN Devices

Remote Connect LAN Manager allows administrators to connect to nearly any device that can get an IP address on the LAN through Cradlepoint NetCloud Manager (NCM). Essentially, this makes third-party devices that previously were inaccessible now capable of being managed securely through the cloud — without any additional software or hardware.

Until now, management of devices on the LAN — everything from switches and access points to security cameras and digital signs — has been complex, to say the least. IT specialists had to set up a variety of complex routing rules, port forwarding, and more, plus they potentially had to purchase third-party software for each and every device.

Today, the entire process is simpler — in the cloud — through Remote Connect. Once plugged in, a device that lives behind a router on the LAN is accessible from anywhere in the world through NCM’s single pane of glass. That device, with its IP address and host name, immediately appears in the NCM platform; the IT team can make it cloud managed with one click.

The cost savings potential of Remote Connect are vast, as IT managers can avoid purchasing individual cloud management services for the rapidly growing list of devices on their network. They can also avoid on-site IT or truck rolls for troubleshooting, setup, and diagnostics of devices that were previously inaccessible, accept from the LAN.

Advanced Out-of-Band Management (OOBM)

With a traditional network architecture, when wired-line connectivity is down, an IT team cannot manage the primary router. However, if the organization is using a Cradlepoint router for failover LTE connectivity, an IT professional can use advanced OOBM to traverse through a Cradlepoint router and troubleshoot or config any generic primary router remotely (or any device with a serial console port).

Advanced OOBM affords IT staff the same capabilities as if they were sitting next to and plugged into the primary router — regardless of whether the wired line is up or down. Then the IT staff can troubleshoot and determine — if not implement — potential fixes.

The business benefits and ROI of advanced OOBM are substantial, including the ability to troubleshoot and repair the primary router without sending someone to the location. OOBM also eliminates the need to rely on a non-IT, on-site employee to help with troubleshooting and eliminates the monthly POTS (analog) circuit subscription for OOBM.

Robust Real-Time Info & Troubleshooting

Each Cradlepoint router runs the NetCloud Operating System (NetCloud OS), which network administrators now can access remotely via Remote Connect for robust real-time statuses, troubleshooting information, and logs.

Router-level data available through NCM’s Remote Connect GUI is more fine grain, including information such as Connection Manager interface status, VPN tunnel status, router tables, system logs, connected client list, firewall tracking and hit counter, and many more. Also, access is highly secure, with no static IP or open SSH / SSL ports required.

It’s just like local access to each router’s UI — but anytime, from anywhere, through the cloud. Organizations can leverage this service for highly valuable real-time trouble-shooting, with always-available insights into routing tables, which clients are connected, and how much data clients are using.

Router Console Access

Remote Connect allows IT teams to connect remotely to the console of a Cradlepoint router, and recently this feature has undergone some improvements. Now the data available to IT departments through CLI access is more in-depth than ever. Access to more robust real-time analytics is particularly helpful for troubleshooting. Suspected router issues such as slow service or misdirected traffic can be viewed via real-time routing tables. This real-time data stream means IT professionals can provide real-time fixes as well.

Additional Software-Defined Solutions

Many organizations today are looking to not only perform device administration and management remotely, but to actually create an easy, flexible, instant, secure network over commodity Internet from anywhere at any time. NetCloud Engine, Cradlepoint’s Software-Defined Perimeter (SD-P) solution, allows IT teams to instantly create always-on Virtual Cloud Networks over any Internet connection that allows IoT devices, administrators, and resources to have constant communication with each other.

Source: Cradlepoint

Co-Star supply the full range of Cradlepoint Software and 4G LTE & WiFi Routers. For more information please click here

Cradlepoint secures $89M in funding for software and new product initiatives

CRADLEPOINT logo

Cradlepoint Secures $89 Million in Series C Funding Led by TCV to Deliver Next Generation Network Solutions for Enterprises Embracing Digital Transformation

Growth-stage Investment to Fuel Cradlepoint’s Continued Growth and Expand Product Initiatives in SDN, 5G Wireless Broadband, and Enterprise IoT

BOISE, Idaho – March 9, 2017 – Cradlepoint, the global leader in cloud-based network solutions for connecting people, places, and things over wired and wireless broadband, today announced it has closed $89 million in Series C funding. The round was led by TCV, a leading provider of capital to growth-stage private and public companies in the technology industry. Cradlepoint will use these funds to drive continued growth and further capitalize on the disruption in the enterprise wide area networking market as the result of Digital Transformation (the digitization of every business process and interaction). This includes expanding product initiatives in Software-Defined Networking (SDN), advanced 4G and 5G wireless connectivity, and enterprise Internet of Things (IoT).

In connection with the financing, Ted Coons, General Partner at TCV, and Doug Gilstrap, Venture Partner at TCV, have joined Cradlepoint’s board of directors.

The Cradlepoint investment continues TCV’s legacy of investing in sector-leading companies, such as Netflix, GoDaddy, ExactTarget, Redback Networks, and Splunk. With over 15,000 customers and 1.5 million units deployed to date worldwide, and having achieved an over 40 percent compound aggregate growth rate (CAGR) for the last three years, Cradlepoint is the leading provider of 4G LTE network solutions for enterprises, governments, and mobile operators. The company’s diverse customer base includes 50 percent of Fortune 100, 75 percent of the world’s top retailers, and 25 of the largest US cities.

“Cradlepoint has established a strong foundation as the leader in cloud-managed 4G LTE network solutions,” said George Mulhern, CEO of Cradlepoint. “The investment by TCV, and their experience in guiding disruptive companies, will allow us to build on this foundation to capitalize on the opportunity in front of us as digital transformation drives WAN transformation. SDN, 4G/5G wireless broadband, mobile networking and IoT technologies will all play a pivotal role in the new connected enterprise, and we are well-positioned to lead the way.”

Digital transformation is accelerating cloud, mobile and IoT adoption — giving rise to the Connected Enterprise, putting greater emphasis on the wide area network (WAN). According to a report by IDC, the burgeoning market for SDN in the WAN (SD-WAN) is projected to reach $12.5 billion by 2020, spurred on by the need for more agile, automated and available networks and a direct result of digital transformation.

“With roots in enterprise-grade 4G LTE, hardware solutions that span branch, vehicle and IoT use cases, integrated with powerful software that enables remote management and network control, Cradlepoint has the technology and momentum to be a major player in the next generation of enterprise WANs,” stated Ted Coons, General Partner at TCV. “A clear technological advantage combined with market leadership and the ability to innovate are key attributes of companies that we choose to partner with, and we are delighted to support the Cradlepoint team as they continue on their growth path.”

“By 2020, the number of people, vehicles, and things connected to the enterprise network will start to dwarf fixed branch sites,” stated Eric Hanselman, chief analyst at 451 Research. “This dramatic shift in the volume and variety of connections will force the enterprise WAN to become more cloud-orchestrated, software-defined, and wirelessly connected and has already started to usher in an entirely new network security model. With this investment by TCV, Cradlepoint now has the potential to become a major player in wide-area networking for the connected enterprise.”

Source: Cradlepoint

Cradlepoint Provides Connectivity for Multiple Entertainment Applications In Luxury Vehicle Fleet

Cradlepoinaer2100t Helps JetLoungeX Keep the Party Connected

Luxury transportation service creates the ultimate entertainment experience and new revenue opportunities with LTE connectivity

Cradlepoint, the global leader in software-defined 4G LTE network solutions for enterprises, announced today that it’s helping JetLoungeX (JLX) connect an advanced in-vehicle entertainment system designed for luxury limousine, mobile gaming, corporate travel, and party bus services. When developing its lavish entertainment vehicle experience, JLX looked to support a wide variety of applications—from interactive social media access and selfie photo booths, to printing, teleconferencing, and digital signage. To meet the high-bandwidth demands these latency-sensitive applications require, JLX needed always-on, flexible in-vehicle network connectivity. Cradlepoint empowers JLX to create a reliable and secure LTE-based network to connect all applications, expand opportunities to promote revenue-generating ad content, and extend connectivity to passengers for the ultimate transportation experience.

Reliable connectivity isn’t just for fixed locations anymore. Traveling employees need to connect to the office while at remote sites just as much as passengers now expect complimentary Wi-Fi while traveling. Cradlepoint enables businesses, retailers, educators, healthcare providers, public safety, and public transportation to connect anyone anywhere. Cradlepoint’s LTE solutions are highly reliable, ruggedized, and easy to deploy and manage—making them ideal for challenging in-vehicle network environments. Specific to JLX, Cradlepoint’s AER2100 platform was selected to support the robust bandwidth needs of 12 in-vehicle computers, for both primary and failover connectivity. These computers run applications like the first of its kind selfie Fotopod Photo Booth that uploads in real-time to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, all while keeping music humming and digital advertisements running. The solution is built on open architecture that enables any enterprise to easily increase bandwidth, reliability, security, and flexibility with a compact, all-in-one solution.

“We’ve always had a good understanding of our in-vehicle network bandwidth capacity and performance requirements being driven by our entertainment system. However, it was challenging to support those connectivity needs until we found Cradlepoint. The company provided us with an all-inclusive, feature-rich solution,” said Devin Foxx, CEO at JetLoungeX. “Cradlepoint helped us upgrade our network capabilities and successfully transform the use of our vehicles from a traditional limousine service into an all-around transport entertainment experience. It’s a completely different ball game and wouldn’t be possible without Cradlepoint.”

“Cradlepoint enables enterprises to do more and wire less. For JLX, this capability is critical to continuously connecting an abundance of technology in its fleet of luxury entertainment vehicles. For others, it could mean connecting patrol cars so a police officer can spend more time in the field, a nurse can travel to care for her immobile patients while accessing medical records remotely, and a retailer can create a pop-up shop at a city festival and securely manage enough transactions to exceed its annual sales goal. We are helping businesses harness the power of LTE to create reliable, flexible, and secure networks that augment, complement, and extend the capabilities of traditional connectivity,” said Ian Pennell, chief marketing officer for Cradlepoint.

Co-Star supply the full range of Cradlepoint Wireless Gateways for WiFi and 4G LTE Connectivity in vehicles. Please click here for more information>

Source: Cradlepoint/Co-Star