Cradlepoint, a software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) vendor with a focus on LTE connections, is offering customers a new subscription-based pricing model. It will provide its wireless router, along with its software, on a subscription basis for one, three, or five years.
Its new NetCloud Solution packages for branch offices include the option of an edge router that supports 10 switched Ethernet ports for WAN or LAN connectivity, 802.11ac WiFi with guest portal, and a new integrated LTE Advanced modem capable of download speeds up to 600 Mb/s, along with an expansion slot for a second LTE modem.
The company’s routers are managed by its operating system software that provides routing and unified threat management.
Cradlepoint’s Chief Marketing Officer Todd Krautkremer said the packages are great for enterprises because they put Cradlepoint on the hook for customer service. For example, if a customer signs up for a one-year subscription but then isn’t happy, it won’t renew. “We’re recognizing a shift in the way IT wants to consume technology,” said Krautkremer. “This model aligns Cradlepoint with customer success.”
If a customer does decide to stop its software subscription, Cradlepoint will turn off some features of the router, but the customer still gets to keep the device. “You lose some advanced routing and analytics, but it will still be a great standalone LTE router,” said Krautkremer. (** See update below.)
Cradlepoint differentiates from all the other SD-WAN vendors with its focus on LTE. “It makes us a co-opetition player for customers that value LTE,” said Krautkremer. “But if somebody is an MPLS shop, we’re not going to win them for their primary business. But we do win for failover.”
By failover, he means if the primary WAN link fails, the Cradlepoint platform will instantly set up an LTE connection as the WAN.
In some cases, enterprise customers use Cradlepoint’s SD-WAN technology for their wireless traffic steering, while using another SD-WAN vendor for their wired connections.
Asked why a customer would use two SD-WAN vendors rather than just get its LTE failover from its primary SD-WAN vendor, he said others “don’t provide an advanced LTE radio like we do.” Cradlepoint will be in 5G trials this year.
**Update 1/19/2018 Krautkremer said he mis-spoke, and he clarified after this story was published: If a customer does decide to stop its cloud service subscription, router functionality is significantly limited but the customer still gets to keep the device. All of the cloud-enabled functionality will be lost, which is substantial, making the router unsuitable for many of the customer’s intended use cases.