Speaking at MWC19, president and CEO Börje Ékholm says the company has commercial 5G deals with 10 named service providers and 42 MoUs
Ericsson will switch on 5G globally in 2019, “backed by a strong, secure and available portfolio”, said president and CEO Börje Ékholm at Mobile Word Congress 19 (MWC19) in Barcelona.
He stressed the role of 5G as a critical national infrastructure, and emphasised the advantages for early adopters. The company says it has the resources and the supply chain capacity to meet a fast ramp-up of market demand as 5G is introduced globally.
Ericsson has announced commercial 5G deals with 10 named service provider customers, as well as 42 memorandums of understanding (MoUs). The company is already rolling out 5G networks across the globe: in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia and Ékholm promised more announcements to come.
It used MWC19 to sign the deal with Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to launch a mid-band 5G network in Saudi Arabia. The two companies have been working in close partnership on 5G for tests in the lab, field trials, and now initial deployment. 5G is considered as a very important step toward digitalisation and supporting Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 toward economic diversification."
“Consumers and enterprises are waiting for 5G,” said Ékholm. “According to Ericsson ConsumerLab research, one-third of smartphone users globally will change either immediately or within six months to a service provider that switches on 5G. Today, the US and Asia are leading in 5G development.”
Ékholm said the first commercial scale 5G beneficiaries will be mobile broadband consumers with highly cost-efficient capacity expansions facilitating new applications in augmented reality and virtual reality in areas such as gaming and sports broadcasts.
"According to Ericsson ConsumerLab research, one-third of smartphone users globally will change either immediately or within six months"
But he also said how 5G would move the industry beyond consumer products and into the industrial internet, citing ongoing collaborations in both mobile robotics and all-electric, autonomous vehicles as examples.
Ékholm also highlighted how Ericsson Radio System hardware has been 5G-ready since 2015 and can be used also for 5G new radio (NR) with a remote software installation.
This means that Ericsson has already shipped more than three million 5G-ready radios to its customers worldwide.
Ericsson claims its Spectrum Sharing is the most economically feasible way to introduce 5G in existing bands achieving immediate nationwide coverage.
“We can dynamically mix 4G and 5G traffic on the same spectrum. Some said this kind of spectrum sharing was impossible," said Ékholm.
Other announcements at at MWC19 inlcuded a partnership with Australian service provider Telstra to deliver Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity to global enterprises by integrating Ericsson’s Connectivity Management services from its IoT Accelerator solution into Telstra’s IoT solution and mobile network.
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