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Gigabit-Class LTE gives organizations a tangible Pathway to 5G

Donna Johnson

Only Gigabit-Class LTE solutions for the enterprise leverage Elastic Wideband technology for unprecedented performance & reliability

The best places to work are those where you believe in the company vision and where you’re contributing to something you’re excited about. I joined Cradlepoint because I believe the future is wireless — where a ubiquitous, high-bandwidth, high-speed cellular connectivity cloud will exist to connect people, places, and things, and where fixed locations and tethered networks become a thing of the past. This will allow people to work where they want, enterprises to meet customers where they are, and public agencies to work amongst the constituencies they serve.

This is an exciting future. While my prior background was in SD-WAN, I didn’t join Cradlepoint because it was one of 65 (and growing) companies offering SD-WAN, but because it was deploying SD-WAN in service to this larger view of the future.

Niches Have a Way of Growing

When I look at the upcoming year, there’s no question in my mind that Cradlepoint’s vision of the future is taking hold. Recently, we were included as a niche player in Gartner’s WAN Edge Magic Quadrant, cited for our expertise in wireless connectivity. We’re proud of this niche, as it recognizes our focus and leadership in cellular connectivity, and because Cradlepoint was the only company on the quadrant that was specifically called out for LTE use cases.

But niches don’t always remain that way. Anyone who’s been in technology for more than a couple years can think of many cases where what started as a niche quickly grew to become a category in its own right. The cellular-enabled routers niche is well on its way.

You Can’t be Right & Alone

Clearly, we’re starting to see validation of this growth as other companies begin to add LTE modems to their edge solutions. This is a strong confirmation that they (and their customers) see the future as we do.  As one of my colleagues once said, you can’t be right and alone. But adding LTE connectivity isn’t easy — whether it’s making sure you have the best connection, optimizing billing with pooled data plans, or keeping up with rapidly moving cellular technology. This is never more apparent than today, as Cradlepoint’s Gigabit-Class LTE announcement proves.

Beyond taking advantage of the latest generation of cellular networks, creating an enterprise-class connection to wireless requires specialized software at the modem, router, and management levels. Elastic Wideband, part of Cradlepoint’s Elastic EdgeTM technology, turns 4G LTE, Gigabit-Class LTE, and 5G cellular services into mission-critical wireless WANs for enterprise and public safety applications. A few of the unique functions included in Elastic Wideband technology are software-defined modems, carrier selection management, and data plan management, all intended to maximize the reliability, quality, and performance of LTE connections.

Introducing Cradlepoint Gigabit-Class LTE solutions

Through its NetCloud Service, Cradlepoint is the first to deliver wireless edge routers that let enterprises and public safety organizations take advantage of today’s Gigabit-Class LTE cellular networks. Gigabit LTE is now widely available from major carriers and uses existing spectrum to provide cellular performance that can meet or exceed many wired broadband options.

This ongoing expansion of 4G LTE into higher-performance Gigabit-Class LTE technology is based on three key developments, each of which is a component of 5G:

  • Spectrum Efficiency — The addition of 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) allows more bits to flow through the available spectrum.
  • Expanded Capacity — 4×4 Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) allows the splitting of transmission across many antennas, which multiplies the capacity of an RF link.
  • Wider Channel — Carrier aggregation or melding various pieces of licensed and unlicensed radio spectrum into one wider channel, expedites the flow of data.

Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Services for branch and mobile now are delivered through Gigabit-Class LTE routers.

  • AER2200-1200M Series — All-in-one, Gigabit-Class LTE edge routers include a second modem option and SD-WAN, security, WiFi, and IoT functionality.
  • CBA850-1200M LTE Adapter — This remotable LTE modem provides fast and reliable LTE connectivity for primary and failover uses and works with any traditional or SD-WAN router.
  • IBR900-1200M & IBR1700-1200M Series — These ruggedized, Gigabit-Class LTE edge routers for in-vehicle and portable deployments have a second modem option and mobile SD-WAN, WiFi, GPS, and engine telemetry relay functionality.
  • MC400-1200M Modular Modem — This can be inserted into any Cradlepoint LTE router with an expansion slot, enabling Gigabit-Class LTE connectivity to be easily added.

Everyone Gets a Network!

With the introduction of these new products, Cradlepoint can now support the licensed, unlicensed, or shared spectrum used by Private LTE. This growing initiative utilizes small and microcells to create a private cellular network to provide high-quality, long-range LTE connectivity for large facilities, campuses, ships, and factories. By using Private LTE instead of WiFi or public LTE, organizations can achieve data usage savings, enhanced traffic flow, and better information security while avoiding potential network contention.

Pathway to 5G is Tangible & Here

5G is no longer something far off in the distance and has moved beyond trials to commercial availability. But for those that aren’t in the areas served by 5G, Gigabit-Class LTE provides a key step along the pathway. It uses three technologies that are key to 5G, and it dramatically increases the bandwidth available from LTE — up to six times in real-world environments. More importantly, Gigabit-Class LTE begins to achieve parity between wired and wireless connections. So, organizations that have been hesitant to commit to wireless as an alternate or primary WAN link, or those that would like to get more from their mobile network, can begin to expand into wireless with the introduction of Gigabit-Class LTE enterprise solutions.

Three examples really highlight how different organizations are taking advantage of Gigabit-Class LTE to advance toward 5G:

First Responders — Gigabit-Class LTE performance and aggregation across multiple bands, including aggregation across Band 14, opens up new possibilities for in-vehicle networks. From streaming video, to increased IoT and telematics data, to support for multiple public safety broadband networks, this new class of product begins to turn a mobile vehicle into the technical equivalent of a branch office.

Wireless Failover — Using LTE as a failover option to ensure branch continuity has been validated, including by recent high-profile outages. But many businesses were uncomfortable with the need to scale back application traffic to match the smaller LTE links. With Gigabit-Class LTE, cellular links can match the bandwidth of many wired networks, making moving between wired and wireless more seamless. Adding a Gigabit-Class LTE gateway such as the CBA850-1200M to traditional routers or SD-WAN appliances brings immediate WAN diversity without tradeoffs.

Cutting the Cord — While it seems self-evident, it’s worth emphasizing that wireless networks don’t have fixed connections. That means the network can go wherever your business goes and to wherever your customers are. Branches and retails outlets can be much more agile—opening on day 1, moving quickly to new locations, or even opening temporary locations. All this become possible without a dependency on wired connections, and it’s more possible than ever with the availability of the industry’s first Gigabit-Class LTE solutions from Cradlepoint.

Explore More in Webinar

If you’ve read this far, thank you! And having read this far, if you want to know even more, watch our on-demand webinar to explore these Gigabit-Class LTE solutions and how they take advantage of Elastic Wideband technology to help organizations move toward a wireless future.

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