Cradlepoint joins Cisco as T-Mobile enterprise 5G FWA option – SDxCentral

4 minutes, 30 seconds Read

T-Mobile US is adding Ericsson subsidiary Cradlepoint as a supplier to the carrier’s recently launched Connected Workplace managed service to bolster its enterprise-focused 5G-based fixed-wireless access (FWA) offerings.

The addition includes access to Cradlepoint’s X10 Router, which can use cellular connectivity for either primary or backup support, and its E300 Router targeted at mid-sized organizations. T-Mobile US enterprise customers can also access Cradlepoint’s W1850 and W1855 industrial-grade adapters and its NetCloud Manager that runs on these devices.

“The addition of Cradlepoint means our customers have more choice and it expands the reach of our Connected Workplace offering from large enterprises to very small businesses,” Chris Melus, VP of product management for T-Mobile for Business, said in a statement. “This collaboration significantly strengthens our ability to help businesses optimize their network infrastructure, reduce IT workload and enhance operational efficiency.”

T-Mobile US initially announced plans to add a Cradlepoint 5G edge router in mid-2022. That 5G edge router was officially launched in late 2022, and included access to T-Mobile US’ extensive spectrum position, its 5G and 4G LTE networks and used Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Service to support T-Mobile US’ managed services.

Cradlepoint joins T-Mobile US’ enterprise push

T-Mobile US launched its Connected Workplace service earlier this year. It’s focused at offering managed network services for multi-location medium-sized business.

The platform has T-Mobile US providing installation, configuration and managed services to minimize the burden on in-house IT teams. This includes design and on-site installation of equipment, proactive 24/7 monitoring and performance optimization, unlimited configuration changes and guaranteed 24/7 support. T-Mobile will also handle software license renewals and gateway access point upgrades every three years.

That launch included a tie-up with Cisco, which provided its Meraki cloud-managed networking devices and platform. That connection followed up T-Mobile US last year certifying Cisco Meraki-powered 5G cellular gateways to work with its FWA service. The devices act as receivers for a 5G FWA signal coming into an enterprise that can then be tied into an internal SD-WAN and managed through the Meraki single-pane platform.

Dell’Oro Group earlier this year forecast spending on 4G LTE and 5G-enabled enterprise routers and gateways would hit $4 billion by 2027. “Enterprises are relying more heavily on FWA-enabled routers and gateways to connect branch offices, vehicles and kiosks as part of their own private wireless initiatives,” noted Dell’Oro Group VP and analyst Jeff Heynen.

T-Mobile US’ enterprise FWA push comes as the carrier moves closer to a pre-determined cap on its FWA expansion.

The carrier added 405,000 new connections during the first quarter of this year, pushing its total base to just over 5 million connections. However, that latest growth was significantly lower than the 541,000 connections the carrier added during the fourth quarter of last year and echoed similar slowing from rival Verizon.

CEO Mike Sievert reiterated during a recent investor conference that T-Mobile US’ internal forecasts continued to support the network’s ability to support up to 8 million FWA connections by 2025. This is based on usage calculations tied to “fallow” capacity of its current spectrum portfolio.

However, Sievert did hint that T-Mobile US remains active in looking at ways it might be able to use new technology to potentially increase that headroom.

“What I’m working on with the team is, what can we apply from a technology standpoint, a capability standpoint as it evolves to continue on that strategy that’s very high return, excess capacity strategy, but potentially extend the [total addressable market],” Sievert said. “We have not drawn any conclusions about whether that’s a viable approach for us, but we are working hard on it.”

Increased enterprise FWA competition

That hard work could be pressured by growing interest from rivals in the potentially lucrative enterprise FWA space.

Verizon reported that enterprise customers accounted for one-third of those new connections during the first quarter, echoing what the carrier was seeing coming out of last year.

“On the business side, we’re seeing new use cases that we didn’t see before, all the way from coffee shops replacing cable with fixed-wireless access to large enterprises actually replacing with fixed-wireless access as well for different use cases,” CEO Hans Vestberg said during Verizon’s most recent earnings call.

That enterprise growth has drawn AT&T into the FWA battle, with that carrier reporting early momentum targeting that vertical.

AT&T, which was a late mover into the 5G-based FWA space, doubled its total FWA base during the quarter, adding 110,000 new connections to push its base to more than 200,000 connections. The carrier remains focused on driving that growth from its recently launched enterprise-focused FWA operations, which it has said provides a more sustainable business model.

“I’ve said from the start that there are many businesses that do not have the characteristics of single-family homes, and as a result of that, fixed wireless can be a really effective way of meeting their needs and doing so at a value proposition, price and performance that makes sense for them, especially when you start to think about those companies that have a convergence of both fixed and mobility needs. It’s a natural in those cases,” AT&T CEO John Stankey said during the carrier’s earnings call. “I’d like to participate in that market aggressively and I will go after it as aggressively as my competitors and picking up any of those business customers that I can on a national basis.”

This post was originally published on the 3rd party mentioned in the title ofthis site

Similar Posts