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Ericsson Executive Q&A: George Mulhern

With day two of Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2023 well underway, we turn our Executive news Q&A focus to Ericsson Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions. We ask George Mulhern, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions, about the opportunities and challenges in the business area.

George Mulhern, Head of Ericsson Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions.
George Mulhern, Head of Ericsson Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions.

Mulhern was appointed Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions upon its formation in June, 2022, following an Ericsson company reorganization.

He has been CEO of Cradlepoint, which Ericsson acquired in 2020, since 2011. In addition to Cradlepoint Wireless WAN, the current Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions’ scope includes Ericsson’s Private Networks portfolio (NetCloud Private Networks and Ericsson Private 5G).

1. As a newly established Ericsson business area, what are the key things that Ericsson followers need to understand about Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions?

Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions (BEWS) was formed to enable enterprises to take full advantage of the unique capabilities that 5G offers for enterprise’s business transformation initiatives. The formation of this new unit combines Ericsson’s 5G leadership and Private Networks offering with Cradlepoint’s number one position in the WirelessWAN market.

Our singular end-customer focus is on the enterprise segment. We will continue to leverage and expand upon Cradlepoint’s strong channel community as entprises rely on them to bring together complete solutions to support transformation. And Communication Service Providers (CSPs) continue to be an important partner in both building differentiated solutions for the benefit of enterprise customers as well as reaching enterprise customers at scale.

2. Ericsson subsidiary Cradlepoint comprises a major part of the business area. Can you reiterate what Cradlepoint brings to Ericsson – and vice-versa?

Cradlepoint’s Enterprise 5G edge and WAN solutions are already creating real value for our Enterprise customers. Enterprises will be a driving force of 5G consumption over the next several years - helping CSPs to monetize their investment in 5G solutions, including Ericsson network investments. Cradlepoint has a proven, two-tier partner model - including relationships with some of the world’s largest distributors -that include over 3,000 focused resellers and service providers, globally. Together, they reach the large enterprise market and lead the sales of 5G Wireless WAN and Private Networks.

What does Cradlepoint gain from the relationship with Ericsson? A foundation with one of the leading innovators of 5G technology. Backed by a heavy investment in R&D and the support to grow Enterprise Wireless Solutions globally.

3. What evidence do you see that enterprises and industries are embracing the next-generation connectivity solutions that Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions specializes in?

Cradlepoint has been shipping 5G routers for over a year now. In 2022, our 5G Wireless WAN solution sales are more than 10 times what they were in 2021.  And our 5G Private Network sales are growing at almost 60 percent year-over-year. As of January 2022, Cradlepoint has over 36,000 customers worldwide with millions of subscriptions to NetCloud Manager which manages and controls Cradlepoint endpoints across the globe.

We have enterprise customers all over the globe who have installed Wireless WAN solutions with a goal of bringing greater agility, customer value and competitiveness to their business.

Some of the largest retail chains and quick-serve restaurants are moving to cellular, or in some cases moving from LTE to 5G first in their network strategy. First responders, governments, and major transportation services are investing in 5G to help manage their fleets and support their customers more effectively. Healthcare organizations are using 5G to support remote healthcare, and fortune 1000 companies are supporting a new era of work-from-home requirements.

With Cradlepoint NetCloud solutions, thousands of devices are easy to deploy, manage, secure, and monitor. We recently released three new solutions built on the NetCloud Exchange platform, which extends our 5G optimized solutions across the WAN, including SD-WAN and Zero Trust security.

For private networks, we have strong indicators of scale with private networks deployed globally, across multiple industries including ports, manufacturing, mining, steel, and media. Private Cellular Networks are bringing capabilities and properties that other networking technologies can not match. Properties that are going to be key to providing the infrastructure to unlock the true potential of IoT. Enterprise customers  seeking to enhance productivity, support employee safety and become more sustainable are finding private 4G and 5G solutions are a great way to automate their business and extend connectivity in a cost-effective manner.

4. What are Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions’ priorities for the year ahead?

The opportunity for Enterprise Wireless solutions is at the intersection of software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), Security, and 5G (public and private) and is estimated to be a USD 10 billion market by 2025 according to IDC and Gartner forcasts. It is happening now, and we are seeing it accelerating. We know that for the enterprise to realize the full potential of 5G, it must have a unified management model and policy framework for networking, security, and admission control. Cradlepoint NetCloud Solutions not only support a simple single pane of glass UI but has rich APIs that can support integrations with other partners. The goal is to make this as simple and scalable as possible for our enterprise customers. This year we will invest heavily in rolling out new features and products in three areas - Wireless WAN, our new NetCloud Exchange (NCX) platform, and Private Networks.

5. What is Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions/Cradlepoint hoping to achieve at MWC 2023

We want to share how CSPs can monetize 5G today with Ericsson’s Enterprise Wireless Solutions by increasing the number and breadth of the solutions they offer to enterprises. We want to leverage Cradlepoint’s experience delivering wireless solutions to the enterprise, together with Ericsson’s leadership in networks, to showcase that 5G helps enterprises become more connected, secure, and agile.

Cradlepoint and Vonage, both now part of Ericsson, will show how we can partner with CSPs, Managed Service Providers (MSPs), and our extensive number of Ecosystem Partners to show CSPs how our combined solutions enable enterprises to do more.

Feel welcome to join the #ericssonmwc conversation at #mwc23