Just as the 5G era was kicking off in the United States, Cradlepoint established itself as a leading enterprise solution provider for the latest cellular technology, partnering with Verizon on enterprise 5G broadband services and AT&T on 5G-upgradeable mobile units for first responders and businesses. Today, Ericsson announced that it’s acquiring Cradlepoint for $1.1 billion, giving the European network gear maker another asset as it widens its U.S. footprint.
In May, Cradlepoint announced a 5G-ready edge router that enables business branch offices to abandon their wired broadband in favor of fully wireless connectivity, using Wi-Fi 6 to share a high-speed cellular signal with multiple workplace devices. Unlike companies that have fully backed 5G, Cradlepoint’s solutions have notably included upgradeable modem modules that let businesses initially access gigabit 4G/LTE, with the option to switch modems when 5G services become locally available — a move aligned with the odd 5G deployment strategies of U.S. carriers Verizon and AT&T.
Ericsson expects Cradlepoint to keep offering wireless wide area network (WWAN) solutions to businesses and first responders, a market that is projected to grow 25% to 30% over the coming years as 5G continues to gain importance. Ericsson has continued to work with partners to break 5G transmission speed and distance records over the past two years, demonstrating the future potential of millimeter wave transmissions in multiple environments while simultaneously developing sub-6GHz solutions to appeal to current customers around the world.
Now within Ericsson’s Business Area Technologies and New Businesses unit, Cradlepoint will apparently continue to operate with its existing name and 650 employees from its Boise, Idaho headquarters. The company will receive the full $1.1 billion in cash when the deal closes.