Ericsson Extends SIM Management To Cradlepoint Units, Simplifies IoT Airtime


By James Blackman

Eighteen months after its acquisition of Cradlepoint, Ericsson has integrated Cradlepoint’s NetCloud platform with its own IoT Accelerator platform and extended SIM management to Cradlepoint’s LTE and 5G routers and adapters. The move allows enterprise connectivity providers on the Ericsson portal to provide enterprise customers deploying Cradlepoint devices with their own management platform – to view, activate and adjust data plans in real-time.

It is the first product integration between the two firms since Ericsson bought Cradlepoint in late 2020. Cradlepoint described the new facility as part of its newly-launched “cellular intelligence initiative”, in turn described as a “collection of software-based features that uniquely visualize, control and optimize connections, data plans, and traffic of cellular network deployments across the IT management lifecycle”.

The new cellular intelligence software has been built into every aspect of the Cradlepoint portfolio, the company said, providing a range of management analytics for service providers, solution providers, and enterprise users to manage their fleets of mobile and IoT devices. Alongside SIM management, via the IoT Accelerator integration, management features include live stats, health dashboards, signal mapping, and various new automation ands control software.

On SIM management, Cradlepoint noted that in a typical wide-area network (WAN) deployment, SIMs are managed through a different connectivity management platform to routers and adapters, separately managed through a vendor-provided system. The new integration, the pair said, alleviates the need for customers to cycle between the router management platform and the connectivity management platform to deploy and manage their networks.

It also provides better control over data plans, they said, with enterprises able to know which clients and applications are consuming data, and to suspend or change data plans as required. Ericsson claims 8,000 use its IoT Accelerator platform and ecosystem to manage 86 million connections and 15 million eSIM connections. Cradlepoint has 2,500-odd channel partners, it reckons, and 28,500 enterprise and government customers, all managing SIMs.

Head of business area technologies and new business at Ericsson, Åsa Tamsons commented: “IT teams will now be able to view, activate and manage routers, SIMs and cellular data plans from a single pane of glass. This is a great example of how we are evolving our enterprise portfolio together to create better solutions and more revenue opportunities for partners and customers.“

Chief executive at Cradlepoint, George Mulhern said: “As 5G adoption rates continue to rise, IT managers will need a new set of tools to meet the unique demands of cellular networking – especially as the wireless WAN scales. Ericsson and Cradlepoint… are delivering enterprises the unique combination of network and cellular management tools necessary to deploy wireless WANs at scale, through sophisticated management and control capabilities.”

Meanwhile, Ericsson has also added a new solution layer to its IoT Accelerator, called IoT Accelerator Connect, to offer “plug-and-play access” to cellular IoT connectivity. It said the new function afforded a “unifying layer of packaged services to minimize complexity”. It suggested enterprises and developers “of all sizes” can now provision cellular connectivity “with one click”, and “scale their IoT business across tens of millions of devices”.

It stated: “Difficult, complex and time-consuming integrations are often major challenges impacting the success of IoT projects. IoT Accelerator Connect addresses these challenges by transforming digital sales, automating business processes within the IoT ecosystem and serving user needs.” Actually, the new “layer” comprises various other layers, or functions: Cloud Connect, Device Connect, Connect Hub, Developer Portal, Embedded Connect.

The idea is to simplify cellular IoT provisioning for the whole IoT solution supply-chain, by variously offering automatic bootstrapping, pre-integrated eSIMs, embedded cellular, self-service onboarding, plus tutorials, tools and code samples. Ericsson said: “Devices can be connected at any time, including end-to-end device onboarding, with a cellular IoT-ready module instantly connecting the subscription to the customer’s network of choice.”

General manager of IoT at Ericsson, Kyle Okamoto said: “By offering plug-and-play simplicity, Ericsson IoT Accelerator Connect marks a major leap in transforming access to IoT connectivity. This solution covers connectivity of devices, networks and clouds, while removing hurdles for enterprises, communications service providers, hyperscale cloud providers, resellers and module vendors, to accelerate the growth of their IoT businesses.”

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