HomeEnterpriseCradlepoint extends its NetCloud network-as-a-service offering

Cradlepoint extends its NetCloud network-as-a-service offering

The Network-as-a-Service offering adds secure connect and will sport advanced SD-WAN and ZTNA by the end of the year

Wireless WAN provider Cradlepoint on Tuesday announced NetCloud Exchange, which it described as an extension to the company’s cloud-managed Network as a Service (NaaS) offering. NetCloud Exchange provides enterprise customers of Cradlepoint’s LTE and 5G wireless Wide Area Network (WAN) services with new on-demand cybersecurity services.

The new exchange debuts with “Secure Connect,” which Cradlepoint says is a “VPN-like service” that creates secure end-to-end connections in three steps. Cradlepoint said the service manages automated tunnel orchestration, overlay-based encryption and name-based routing, and it simplifies IP address management.

Cradlepoint is also readying two other NetCloud Exchange services for later release. “Advanced SD-WAN,” is the first, described by Cradlepoint as enabling “features like 5G network slicing, simplified configuration at scale, more advanced cloud integration, more resilient and flexible traffic steering, and more scalable and resilient private and cloud data center terminations.”

The second announced-but-still-pending service to be offered through the exchange is Zero Trust Network Access.

“Secure Connect is now available, it’s in the field, we have customers testing it,” Cradlepoint CMO Todd Krautkremer told RCR Wireless News. Krautkremer added that Cradlepoint will deliver the other two services by the end of 2022.

Earlier this year, Cradlepoint and Verizon recognized a milestone: The deployment of one million active Cradlepoint routers on the Verizon network. Jennifer Artley, SVP of strategic initiatives at Verizon Business, told RCR Wireless News that enterprise wireless deployment have accelerated to a pace Verizon hadn’t seen before, driven by workforce changes like hybrid work.

“Even the largest enterprises and the public sector want fixed wireless access solutions at the edge. Getting to a million is pretty significant for both parties,” said Artley.

Artley predicted that cadence to continue as Verizon expands 5G coverage and C-band spectrum use.

Krautkremer echoed Artley’s predictions, especially around Verizon’s more broad deployment of mid-band 5G spectrum. But mid-band 5G isn’t a solution, said Krautkremer, but rather a means to an end. Krautkremer describes NetCloud and NetCloud Exchange as “solving the higher-level problems that exist in many organizations that deploy 5G.”

Companies pivoting to SD-WAN solutions like Cradlepoint’s can leverage that foundation for better agility and improved efficiency, he said.

“The greatest asset of SD-WAN is it makes our networks more cloud-like, and requires fewer humans to provide more connection,” he said.

Krautkremer recognizes a fundamental shift in IT security priorities, especially around 5G implementations. Security is not yet another network service that IT needs to implement. For many Cradlepoint’s customers like first responders, retailers, and large enterprises, security must be baked in from the start.

“It really is in the core decision criteria,” he said. “‘Is 5G going to help or hurt my security posture, and what technology helps?’ That’s why you see us elevate security with 5G. Because we think the market has changed and everybody is concerned.”

Ericsson acquired Cradlepoint for $1.1 billion in 2020. 

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