Sierra Wireless Acquires Cradlepoint

Congratulations to my new favorite tech gadget company Cradlepoint for today’s acquisition bySierra Wireless. Sierra Wireless expands their product offerings from wireless data cards and embedded modules which provide connectivity to mobile networks from PCs.

My Cradlepoint PHS-300 also called a “Personal Wi-Fi Hotspot” is used to connect my Nokia N95 GSM device to the faster EVDO Rev A network. Rev A uplink connection is a zippy 1.8 MBs, in contrast to the GSM carriers in the US who top out at 700 kbs. The N95’s Wi-Fi radio makes this solution possible. Many mobile devices are beginning to ship with a set of three radios: CDMA or GSM, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It’s liberating to choose the best network for connectivity and have the compatibility problem solved by a Wi-Fi bridge. Adding mobility to the solution, the PHS-300 is battery-powered with a battery-life of 2 hours.

Cradlepoint PHS-300

Pat Phelan telecom distruptor and entrepreneur of CubicTelecom first alerted me to the Cradlepoint as the right solution for capturing and streaming video over US CDMA networks.

The deal is good news for Cradlepoint and good news for Sierra Wireless who now face stiff competition from Qualcomm’s Gobi in the embedded mobile broadband connectivity market. Cradlepoint is well positioned to continue innovating with SWIP’s resources and SWIR expands it’s product suite.

When asked about continued support of USB modems which compete with SWIR like the Novatel I own, Gary Oliverio, vp of marketing, said,

Our mission is to make sure we support as many handsets and modems as we can…we’ll be the Mobile Broadband Router division of SWIR, and will remain intact as an organization. Of course, we’ll continue to innovate with new clever products, features, and ideas!

The current list of supported cards and devices is as follows.

Compatible Cards

  • Sprint: Novatel U727, Novatel U720, Sierra 595U, Franklin CDU-550, Franklin CDU-680 & EX720-with adapter
  • Verizon: Pantech UM150, Novatel 720U, Sierra 595U & V740-with adapter
  • AT&T: AT&T USBConnect 881, Sierra AirCard 881U & Option GT Max 3.6 Express (with adapter)

Compatible Phones

  • Sprint: LG Musiq,Motorola RAZR V3c, Motorola RAZR2, Motorola Q (Not Q9c), Palm 700w, Palm 700p, Palm 755p, RIM Blackberry 8703e, RIM Blackberry 8830, Samsung A920, Samsung i830, Sanyo Katana 2, Sanyo M1
  • Verizon: LG VX7200, LG VX8000, Motorola RAZR V3c, Palm 700p, RIM Blackberry 8703e
  • AT&T: Motorola RAZR v3xx, Motorola Q v9h, Samsung SGH-A707, Samsung Blackjack

The PHS-300 was the perfect solution for increasing upload speeds by using the EVDO Rev A network and enhances the quality of streamed video as I produced during CTIA last week. The last remaining piece to the puzzle is use of an external mic. This solution is being addressed by Nokia and I’m hoping to report on it very soon.

Check out the press release for the details – Sierra Wireless Announces Acquisition of Cradlepoint, Inc. (pdf)

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