ERICSSON CEO Ekholm: “The pandemic has confirmed that wireless connectivity is critical.”

Speaking to virtual attendees of the 2021 GTI Summit, Ericsson President and CEO, Börje Ekholm, spoke about the importance of wireless connectivity in today’s world, the rollout of 5G in China, and Ericsson’s ongoing role in sustainability.

During a virtual address to the GTI Summit, Ekholm emphasized the critical importance of wireless connectivity in today’s world, which has been underscored by the hardships and increased demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He continued by discussing the substantial increase in digital infrastructure investments made by many governments around the world, spurred by the looming need for post-pandemic economic recovery, and noted that 4G has been an essential connectivity provider.

“We believe a similar dynamic will play out for the first movers in 5G, especially in the enterprise domain,” he added, stating that 5G is poised to become the main choice for access technology, enabling industries to “become digitalized in the same way 4G did for consumers.”

“Countries that lead in the digital world will reap clear competitive advantages,” he said. “Those that fail to do so will inevitably lose competitiveness.”

Commitment to 5G rollout in China

Ekholm highlighted that China, currently retaining the majority of the world’s 5G users, will be a key driver in “critical future requirements and new feature developments in 5G.”

He emphasized Ericsson’s support of open markets and the importance of industry-wide cooperation to further economic growth, acknowledging that the global effort to drive innovation and meet growing demands is supported by hundreds of companies, with China standing out as a leader in 5G investments and deployment. Ekholm affirmed that Ericsson remains committed to maintaining its business activities in China.

“Competition and cooperation together are how the telecom industry grew into one of the largest in the world,” he said. “On the flip side, anything that restricts competition runs the risk of slowing down the industry. Market outcomes should be decided by technical performance and the competitiveness of different solutions and network architectures.”

Future trends and 5G progress

Ericsson has identified network slicing as a key enabler for service providers in addressing 5G’s enterprise potential, prompting the company to launch its recent 5G RAN Slicing solution to support “customized business models and the growing demands of use cases in areas including private networks, mission-critical communications, and critical IoT.”

Ekholm went on to emphasize the company’s commitment to its innovation and industry leadership in 5G core solutions, highlighting China Mobile’s Open UPF initiative, where both companies have been working together and supporting China Mobile’s edge and enterprise offerings.

He also made reference to Ericsson’s smart factory in Nanjing, China, now officially commercialized, where it has been “empowering smart manufacturing with the 5G private network that we jointly deployed with China Mobile.” 5G network coverage is expected to cover the entire factory area (more than 20,000sq m) later this year, and the number of use cases being tested and developed there is set to be increased.

Ericsson’s sustainability efforts

Sustainability remains among Ericsson’s chief priorities for 2021, with the ICT industry overall having the potential to make substantial positive impacts on environmental and climate issues.

Ekholm remarked that beyond the ethical and ecological importance of reducing the company’s carbon footprint and overall energy consumption (for example), it is also a business imperative.

Published last year, Ericsson’s Breaking the energy curve report highlights “a unique network-level approach … [to enabling] exponential growth [in] data traffic without increasing energy consumption,” which would result in significant energy savings and reduced total cost of ownership while paving the way for a more sustainable future.

Today, Ericsson is a key member in a number of active sustainability initiatives, including the 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders, where it provides support and guidance as a founding member to help unite major multinational organizations in the global fight against climate change.

Looking forward to a brighter future

Overall, Ekholm expressed a sense of optimism regarding the future. “As hard as 2020 has been, I’m excited by the future,” Ekholm concludes. “The pace of innovation has never been higher than it is now.… I’m confident that we can build a new connected future with 5G.”


Sony Music Publishing ready to bring East African Artists to digital Market

Most of the artists tend to have good artworks like songs, poems, videos but find themselves having difficulties in terms of promoting or publishing them. Similar issues are common among artists around the world and especially in the East African region, in countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and even Tanzania where some artists are still facing such hindrances to their music career.

The recent history of the development of the music industry in the East African region clearly shows the rise of music but also shows that many of the local musicians are additionally facing challenges like mainly lack of access to education (music schools), professional managers, publishing houses, record labels and media space.

However, for EAC, progress has been tremendous with the Bongo Flava movement, bringing talents on the digital platforms and creating wealth, business initiatives (festivals, media channels, talent contests…).

But again, as time went on the industry’s popular figures also changed constantly.

Kayiranga Justin, a journalist and fan of gospel songs in his analysis found that in the East African Region many artists make songs but when the time comes, they leave.

“The music in this region is changing constantly. You find that today we have this one special on the market and when you wake up you hear that the popular one has shifted to politics or other businesses’’ Kayiranga observed.

Kayiranga Justin, East African Music, Gospel music Fan   

“You would also find some going into the music but with a different sense of faith to work with extraordinary power or magic power. This is also part of the industry here.” He added

Mr. Justin KAYIRANGA goes on to say that this is in addition to the lack of financial means as one of the reasons why the music in the region is constantly not stable.

In a short interview with an experienced journalist in showbiz, Abdu Bronze, on the other hand, points out the challenges to the development of artists in the region citing an example of Rwandan artists who make their songs but not as effective as those of Nasibu Abdul Juma, popularly known by his stage name Diamond Platnumz, and often referred to as “Simba” or “The King of Bongo-Flava”

“Our local artists for sure needs some professionals to help them either in marketing and professionalism or music mentorship programs for the upcoming musicians” He said

Abdu Bronze noted that perhaps there are a few who have reached the level of writing songs and writing for others. But they are also limited to the local level.

“Of course, this is where the music experts first show up. There some who are able to land music partnerships with the famous brands and their music can reach far and when you hear them, they have a good melody but it is because of the mentorship and other partnerships agreements.” He added

How Sony Music Publishing sets to help regional artists?

Apart from the fact that the artist’s work would be of good quality to reach more audience, it also requires having a real way to publish it, sell it and have a well-known address where fans can access them.

When you follow up, many of the artists find it difficult to find a way to help them get to the bottom of their talents. So here it is clear that there is a need for a real way to deliver art to fans who are from all over the world.

Companies like Sony Music Publishing in Africa continue to make a positive impact in the entertainment industry, not just in East Africa but across the continent.

Christine Mosha, known as “Seven,”leads Marketing and Artist Development for the East Africa region

Last year when Sony Music Entertainment Africa (rebranded Sony Music Publishing) appointed Christine Mosha, known as “Seven,” to lead Marketing and Artist Development for the East Africa region, Mosha revealed that she will build out the company’s roster of local talent and amplify its international repertoire and existing catalogue across the region from her base in Tanzania.

Of course, the company’s main role is publishing work from various artists and actively bringing them available to the world of Entertainment which is the main component in the development of the music and that also plays a crucial role in benefiting the artists by creating popularity and making revenues.

Since its inception, Sony Music Publishing has supported the careers of songwriters and continues to defend their rights.

In order to help East African talents, Sony Music Publishing has continuously kept an eye on developing talents while at the same time put in place the management staff that are ready to help the region’s Artists.

In June 2020, Sony/ATV Music Publishing South Africa announced it has named Munyaradzi Chanetsa (Munya) A&R Manager, Africa, the company clearly wanted Munyaradzi to bring in his expertise for this industry where East African Artists will continue to benefit if they have the good management.

In this role, Munyaradzi is responsible for finding new talent throughout the continent, promoting songwriters’ copyright and careers, and connecting them to larger opportunities around the world.

He is also work closely with colleagues to pitch new and existing repertoire into the marketplace. Grabbing these opportunities for regional artists is an added value to their long-term goals in music career.


My IoT predictions for 2021: Smarter tech will make better business

By ÅsaTamsons, Head of Business Area Technologies & New Businesses, Ericsson

Find out what IoT trends we will see more of in 2021. Among the IoT predictions ranging from digital healthcare, remote learning, connected manufacturing, and micro-mobility to sustainability, the common denominator is the overall accelerated adoption of wireless technologies.

With 2020, the world will never be the same. Nevertheless, I am eager to kick-start an exciting new year. If 2020 was the year to mitigate and manage the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 is the year when “the new normal” becomes a cliché. What is evident is that the pandemic has disrupted daily routines and accelerated the adoption of new technologies, enabling us to work remotely, study from home, and maintain social distance. Many of those trends will continue into 2021, and there are strong implications for the Internet of Things (IoT).  

IoT and connectivity have certainly helped keep us closer on a personal level while we’ve all been physically apart. The pandemic has nudged businesses to push forward with IoT adoption perhaps faster than they would have liked. To unleash the full value of IoT, secure, wireless connectivity is required.   

Here are my IoT predictions for 2021: 

  1. Transition to digital healthcare increases and pop up locations for testing and vaccines become more accessible – and pave the way for a new standard for health care services 
  2. Remote teaching and learning open the doors to new digital experiences and shared resources – but also help democratize the access to knowledge  
  3. Manufacturers and logistics become even smarter, and digital twins offer performance optimization and savings – with growing adoption and broader application 
  4. Micro-mobility solutions transform our mode of transportation in urban environments 
  5. The pandemic may have overshadowed sustainability, but it is the top challenge we have to jointly tackle – becoming the new standard for winning innovation and business  

The upsurge in digital healthcarefor patients and caregivers

5G and IoT have enabled the possibility for remote or robot-led surgeries. Still, the COVID-19 pandemic has given new urgency to the need to limit contact between doctors and patients.   

Those techniques have recently gone from theory to reality. In October 2020, two nine-month-old conjoined twins were successfully separated by doctors at UC Davis’s Children’s Hospital. The two young girls were joined at the head, creating a problem for surgeons because of the complicated network of blood vessels in the head. To map it all out, the doctors used Magic Leap’s mixed reality goggles to plot out what would need to be detangled before setting foot in the operating room – lowering the risk and increasing the chances for a successful surgery.  

Not all the IoT’s impact on healthcare will be in the surgical theater. Better monitoring technology like wearables to track body temperature and heart rate can help people do more at home, reduce the need for doctor visits, and save costs. With the help of connected sensors, regional hospitals can track assets such as hospital beds, ventilators, lifesaving machines and decrease spending time on locating equipment. With 5G and consistent high-speed connectivity, high-quality video virtual check-ups can deliver quality and at scale. 

Pop up COVID-19 test and vaccine locations will also be a focal point for 2021. Offering rapid response solutions with secure wireless connectivity will allow emergency and medical professionals to focus on patients and provide services and tools in new and unexpected venues. 

Remote learning – it can’t be all virtual but can open new doors

Education is one of the sectors most disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are some things about the in-person educational experience that are difficult to replicate with even the best remote technology. Education’s social aspect is not fully transmitted through a screen, but teachers have been nimble and creative. Educators have adopted new tools at first out of necessity and a need to engage remote students. But there’s no reason these trends can’t continue even as the pandemic fades. 5G and IoT technologies can help enable new experiences, like virtual field trips. A virtual tour of a museum won’t be the same as visiting in person, but it can be more engaging and memorable than reading about it in a book.  

IoT can help bridge the digital divide by effectively sharing resources and teachers. In rural areas, students can potentially learn from a calculus teacher from another school. Better IoT applications will make it easier for teachers to virtually “visit” the classroom and interact with students. We will see an increase in digital and virtual teaching and learning methods. 

Smarter manufacturing and supply chains

Rethinking and updating manufacturing, operations, and supply chains will be accelerated even more during 2021. A need to manufacture and produce locally has been driving advances in logistics efficiency. The pandemic has led to the proliferation of smart devices in manufacturing environments. This will continue, even as the virus comes under control as vaccines are distributed. Businesses realize that by incorporating IoT applications into the factory floor, the business and economic benefits quickly materialize. For example, infrared cameras on a production line could replace inspectors, freeing up staff for other duties. A robotic crawler in the heating, ventilation, and air condition system can monitor conditions in a way that’s impossible for a human.   

2021 will be the year of digital twins and 5G. Twinning is when you collect data on a process or machinery to create a predictive model, a digital “twin,” that allows better tracking of wear and tear and maintenance needs. At the end of the day, these operational efficiencies save costs. 

One company taking full advantage of what digital twins and XR offers is Taylor Construction in Australia. With 5G, the construction workers, architects, and production teams have secure high-speed connectivity and low latency to apply holographic building visualization, 360-degree safety scanning, smart sensors on structures, and onsite real-time digital design blueprints. 

Tracking micro-mobility is changing the way we move in cities

As most of us are working from home, our mobility is limited to the proximity of our local community. With changing patterns in using cars and public transportation, other modes of transportation, including electric scooters or electric bikes, become more prevalent.  With e-scooter sharing schemes available in more than 100 cities, across at least 20 countries, from Chile to South Korea to New Zealand, they all have to be connected. IoT is the foundation for connecting and coordinating these scooters and provides connectivity for micro-mobility companies to provide these services.  

Sustainability carries into 2021

In 2020, sustainability was overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, it is a prerequisite for our future. Digital technologies play a pivotal role in helping the global community reduce greenhouse emissions and could enable one third of the 50% global emission reduction needed by 2030, as highlighted in the latest Exponential Roadmap report. As a technology leader, Ericsson has played an active role in setting a precedent and has reduced its emissions by 50%. Digital technologies and IoT enable access to basic human needs like clean water and food. 

According to the United Nations, 3 in 10 people lack access to safely managed drinking water services. Real-time data monitoring and smart systems can ensure water quality. One company addressing the need for clean water is Wayout. Wayout has made it possible for micro-factories to locally produce clean, filtered water with a minimal eco-footprint. Powered by solar panels, the micro-factories offer an advanced water purification system. Smart agriculture is another example of how we can improve our resource efficiency for food production. Stanley Black & Decker has initiated a smart connect water irrigation system for local farmers in India. With intelligent and connected irrigation, the farmers can better manage groundwater resources and leverage the seasons to produce up to 3 crops a year, leading to additional yield and income.   

Smoothing out the bumps

As we proceed with digital transformation on a broader scale, and with increasing speed, there will be bumps in the road. As more devices are incorporated into businesses, standardization and connectivity become increasingly important.  

If we can address those challenges, we can take a significant leap forward in IoT in 2021, with 5G as an innovation platform and sustainability grounded in our business. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of these technologies out of necessity. But they will be with us moving forward as connectivity becomes even more critical to the way we live, learn, and work. And smarter technology will be better and help liberate business. 

Read more about how IoT can transform enterprises

ÅsaTamsons, Head of Business Area Technologies & New Businesses, Ericsson

Ericsson Report shows 6 Findings on the future of enterprises

In a report titled “The dematerialization path to profitability and sustainability, the Future of Enterprises”, Ericsson researchers have found that there six key findings on the Future of Enterprises.

During the survey, quantitative data was collected from 11 markets, through 5,059 online interviews held with respondents aged 18 and older, in Australia, Brazil, China, India, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, the UAE, the UK and the US.

Of these respondents, 2,026 were white-collar information and communications technology (ICT) decision-makers, in enterprises with 5 or more employees.

The remaining 3,033 respondents were white-collar employees, also in enterprises with 5 or more employees.

These respondents are estimated to represent only around 175 million of the roughly 384 million white-collar employees active in the surveyed markets.

The online survey was conducted during September 2020. Qualitative insights were gathered through telepresence interviews with 10 subject matter experts and academic researchers in the US and the EU, as well as with 8 ICT decision-makers in enterprises with 5 or more employees in the US. The interviews were conducted between June and November 2020.

The six key findings of the survey are:

  1. Dematerialization is a key step towards higher profitability and improved sustainability

Today, almost 7 in 10 of the surveyed enterprises have already reached halfway or beyond in their dematerialization journey. Productivity and profitability are named among the key dematerialization benefits by almost half of white-collar decision-makers and close to 4 in 10 say the same for sustainability

  1. By 2030 almost 60 percent of white-collar work is expected to happen outside company premises

With less work taking place at company premises, enterprises must be able to provide their employees with full access to processes and tools regardless of the device they use or whether they are at home or out and about. A decrease in both commuting and CO2 emissions will likely be a result of this shift, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Enterprise usage of extended reality (XR) and 5G is expected to grow by more than 50 percent in the next decade

More than 6 in 10 enterprises expect to use 5G devices, and almost as many will use augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices, by 2030. Increased usage of mobile immersive video technology regardless of location is expected to further drive the need for secure, high-speed, low-latency cellular connectivity.

  1. The gig economy comes to the office

 Of white-collar decision-makers, 6 in 10 believe the share of temporary employment will increase significantly within their companies by 2030, in a shift from mainly being a blue-collar phenomenon. However, this evolution is not without its challenges, as 44 percent of white-collar employees fear it could make life more difficult.

  1. Despite worldwide trade conflicts, enterprises continue to grow internationally

While roughly half of all decision-makers agree that trade conflicts and pandemics will continue to be barriers to international trade, currently 6 in 10 domestic enterprises expect to have an international customer base by 2030 and 4 in 10 agree that the ability to hire employees globally will be key by 2030.

  1. Almost three in four enterprises expect their electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030

The switch to renewable energy is a key component in the journey towards a net-zero enterprise. No less than 8 in 10 decision-makers expect to make significant energy savings through the move towards cloud solutions.

For more information about the reportDOWNLOAD IT HERE


Featured: Hooza Media Launches Its Podcast Platform In French

Hooza Media has launched Hooza Podcast a mobile podcast application available on Android and IoS. 

Downloadable under the link since February 4, the application is free and the content offered accessed free of charge.

On the occasion of this launch, Hooza Media broadcast the audio version of the book “Bisesero, le ghetto de Varsovie Rwandais” by French writer Serge Farnel, published in 2014 and read by the author in our studios.

This audiobook is available in 15-minute episodes published every 2 days on the platform, allowing listeners to continue listening to this story directly and for free on their phones for several weeks.

Testimonies from genocide survivors in Bisesero will also be posted online to allow listeners to be fully immersed and to help them better understand this so sensitive part of the history of Genocide against Tutsi.

At each of these podcasts, a button allows listeners to make a donation to foundations chosen for their determination both to come to the aid of genocide survivors and to fight against any form of denial against this genocide.

This initiative is not for profit and aims to reach French-speaking communities in Rwanda, Africa and around the world.

About Hooza Media

Hooza is a digital media founded in 2013 in Rwanda with a regional office in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Hooza operates in 10 African countries and supports African governments as well as international organizations in their institutional communication for the mass via mobile phone, the leading medium in Africa.

About Serge Farnel

French engineer (aeronautics and space), professor and writer, Serge Farnel devoted ten years of his life to fighting, as a journalist, against denial of the genocide against the Tutsi of Rwanda. Pierre Péan will say of him, in one of his books, that he is the one who fought him the most. Invited by the CNLG (National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide), then headed by Jean de Dieu Mucyo, to speak in April 2009 on the occasion of the 15th international symposium, he took the opportunity to collect testimonies that put him on the track of an active participation of white soldiers in the biggest anti-Tutsi massacre: that of May 13, 1994 in Bisesero. On the basis of viewing rushes of these first testimonies, Jean de Dieu Mucyo and Tharcisse Karugarama (then Rwandan Minister of Justice) encouraged him to return to continue his investigation, which Farnel did in the presence of a journalist from the Wall Street Journal.

After the publication of a full page in the American daily, several medias offered space to talk about his findings: Rwandan television, Contact FM, Radio 10, Le Monde, L’Humanité, Golias, RFI,… The site gathers information relating to Serge Farnel’s investigation.


Hooza Media launches podcast platform in French!

Kigali, February 4, 2021, Hooza Media has launched Hooza Podcast, a mobile podcast application available on Android and IoS.

Hooza Podcast is downloadable under the following link

The application is free and the content offered is free to access.

On the occasion of this launch, Hooza Media is set to broadcast the audio version of the book « Bisesero, le Ghetto de Varsovie Rwandais » by French writer Serge Farnel.

The book was published in 2014 and it will be read by the author in Hooza Media studios.

This audiobook will be available in 15-minute episodes published every 2 days on the platform, allowing listeners to continue listening to this story directly and for free on their phones for several weeks.

Testimonies from genocide survivors in Bisesero will also be posted online to allow listeners to be fully occupied and to help them better understand this so sensitive part of the history of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

With each of these podcasts, a button will allow listeners to make a donation to foundations chosen for their determination, both to help survivors of the genocide and to fight against any form of denial against this genocide.

This approach is non-profit and aims to reach French-speaking communities in Rwanda, Africa and around the world.

About Hooza Media:

Hooza is a digital media founded in 2013 in Rwanda with a regional office in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Hooza operates in 10 African countries and supports African governments as well as international organizations in their institutional communication for the greatest number via the mobile phone, the leading medium in Africa.

About Serge Farnel:

French engineer (aeronautics and space), professor and writer, Serge Farnel devotes ten years of his life to fighting, as a journalist, against denial of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

Invited by the CNLG (National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide), then headed by Jean de Dieu Mucyo, to speak in April 2009 on the occasion of the 15th international symposium, he took the opportunity to collect testimonies that put him on the track of an active participation of whites in the biggest anti-Tutsi massacre: that of May 13, 1994 in Bisesero.

To fully document the testimonies, Jean de Dieu Mucyo and Tharcisse Karugarama (then Rwandan Minister of Justice) encouraged him to return to continue his investigation, which Farnel did in the presence of a journalist from the Wall Street Journal.

The site gathers information relating to Serge Farnel’s investigation.


UGOLF signs contract to manage Kigali Golf Resorts and Villas, says Director General

UGOLF has signed the management contract for its first golf course in Africa, in Kigali, Rwanda. The Kigali Golf Resorts and Villas, still under construction, will open in early May 2021.

Kigali Golf Resort and Villas is located in the heart of the Rwandan capital, in a quality natural environment, on 65 hectares.

Previously composed of 9 holes played mainly by local golfers, its course has been extended to 18 holes and completely redesigned by Gary Player Design.

The French company Grégori International, in charge of the works, began construction in August 2019.

TOP AFRICA NEWS has exclusively learnt that in addition to golf, the Kigali Golf Resort and Villas will offer many activities: tennis, squash, health club, boutique, seminar spaces, as well as a restaurant serving original local cuisine.

As soon as the golf course opens, the UGOLF Academy will offer its flagship product for beginners, the Swing 4U, at an attractive price allowing new clientele to be introduced to become future subscribers of Kigali Golf Resort and Villas. The Golf School will aim to introduce golf to all children and to develop young champions.


Faithful to its eco-sustainable commitments, UGOLF is fully in line with the country’s approach to managing the course that respects the environment: a policy of “fair watering”, particularly in the dry season, and mechanical operations on the greens for minimum use of chemical inputs.


Thanks to a strategic geographical location, high-level infrastructure and recognized economic dynamism, Kigali is the second most attractive city in Africa for international meetings and events.

 To develop international golf attendance, the Kigali Golf Resort and Villas, a project supported by the Rwanda Ultimate Golf Club, will maintain close collaboration with the Rwanda Development Board in association with all the country’s tourism development stakeholders.

Finally, around golf, a network of business and golf enthusiasts, “the Kigali Golf 42.67 business”, will help anchor golf at the heart of the capital’s economic dynamic.

Pierre-André UHLEN, Managing Director of UGOLF, declares: “We are very proud to have crossed European borders with the signing of Kigali Golf Resorts & Villas. This is great proof of the strength of UGOLF, which is continuing its internationalization to achieve our goal of entering the World Top 10 golf operators by 2024 “.

Read the original story here:


Erik Ekudden, Ericsson Group CTO and Head of Technology & Strategy explains How Digitalization with 5G enables further acceleration of climate action

By Erik Ekudden

Digital technology may be our most powerful, scalable tool to tackle climate change. With 2020 showing digitalization can be rapidly accelerated, the same will be true when it comes to CO2 reductions. 5G opens up these new opportunities – why not use it to reach our goals faster?

With a clear challenge in global energy consumption, effects of CO2 pollution, and inefficient use of resources we need to turn to those enabling technologies that can drive change fastest. To stabilize climate change, we need to hold Earth’s temperature at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This means we need to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net zero before 2050.

Even with last year’s Covid-19 driven reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – the greatest since World War II – the world is still forecast to miss its annual target of reducing emissions.

The world requires larger, more positive transformational changes than a pandemic to address climate change and meet its targets. At the same time, as we progress into 2021 and 2030 edges closer, the need for fast, scalable change only grows.

Digitalization is an enabling technology representing a fast, scalable tool to help address climate change. Indeed, digital technology may be the most powerful, scalable tool the world has to tackle climate change. As an accelerator, it has the potential to reduce global emissions by up to 15 percent by 2030.

According to McKinsey, enterprise leaders have seen the Covid-19 crisis bring about some three to four years of digital change in the space of only a few months.  In some cases, the move to digital products and channels has been accelerated by a staggering seven years. Given the investments made and expectation that changes will be long-lasting, there exists for many sectors of society a corresponding opportunity to hasten the advance of digitalization and meet 2030 CO2 milestones sooner. This hastening would be welcomed given the scale of the challenge at hand and consequences of climate change.

5G’s unique transformative capabilities

On the frontline of digitalization lies 5G, itself an exponential technology, a platform enabling technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Extended Reality (XR). Through these technologies, enterprises can build all-manner of known and future unknown, disruptive uses.

The uses, applicable across various sectors, can drive down costs, energy usage, emissions, waste and mitigate climate change. Perhaps the most obvious use during Covid-19 has been video conferencing and telemedicine in employment and health sectors, which negated travel.

The Exponential Roadmap, revised in January 2020 prior to Covid-19’s onset, shows from now until 2030, sector by sector, the solutions to be taken to help the sectors halve their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The Roadmap, of which Ericsson is the leading business sector partner, is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goal to keep global average temperature “well below 2°C” and aiming for 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Across sectors, including those highlighted below which might be ripe for acceleration, the Exponential Roadmap puts forward concrete solutions to meet 2030 targets. Technology lies at the heart of many of the solutions. Their deployment, however, requires policies, finance and leadership to see them realized at sufficient speed and scale.

If we establish 5G infrastructure faster, we can help halve emissions across sectors. 5G is an innovation platform which can support a myriad of uses that can help tackle climate change.

Exponential Roadmap: Solutions to cut greenhouse gas emissions in industry, buildings, transport and energy

The solutions are not hypothetical, they just need to be scaled up. Looking at energy, when it comes to enabling the transition to renewable sources, investment in the smart grids of tomorrow is necessary. ICT and connectivity can enable better performance and protect power grids, including the possibility of remote control and automation in the event of power failure. This is key in enabling the transition to renewable energy, and where the UN estimates that up to 85 percent of electricity must be renewable by 2050.

Taking steps in energy will impact the emissions of other sectors too, where the Exponential Roadmap finds around a third of industry emissions relates to energy supply, rising to two thirds in buildings, for example.

Under transport it is reasonable to assume that the solution ‘remote working and meetings’ will hit its estimated target well before 2030, given the rampant uptake of teleconferencing this past year. Ericsson’s trial last year of 5G driverless vehicles and 5G uses at the Port of Livorno, are also instructive.

In industry, is it not possible to act faster and bring forward increases in production efficiency and circularity? We know digital technologies will be an essential driver of decarbonization and cost savings in material, energy, process and logistical efficiency.

In buildings, such as Ericsson’s Smart 5G Factory launched last year, we see uses such as energy monitoring and management shave 5 percent off the energy bill, whilst environmental monitoring can lead to a 5 percent reduction in waste. All told the factory is 24 percent more energy efficient than baseline. Is it then possible to speed up the transition to sustainable buildings, both residential, non-residential and construction? Can we hit the sector’s reductions before 2030?

Collective major leaps

I believe the potential is there to meet 2030 milestones sooner. It would require a major, collective leap led from industries and investors, but strongly supported from society at large, where governments, academia and others pull together.

From an industry perspective, telecommunications companies need to lead by action. For Ericsson, this means supporting the Paris Agreement, the Science Based Target Initiative, driving changes through our supply chain. It also means, as a lead partner of the Exponential Roadmap, working towards the ambition of halving our emissions before 2030, aiming at net zero before 2050. In addition, it means showing the art of what’s possible, through research, proofs of concept and working case studies, such as the Port of Livorno, Smart 5G Factory and many other projects. More than anything, our main contribution is taking forward networks that society can utilize to help tackle climate change. The networks themselves are designed with energy efficiency in mind. If 5G were deployed the same way as previous generations to meeting growing traffic demands, energy consumptions of mobile networks would increase dramatically. This is why we break the rising energy curve of the networks through, for example, energy-saving software and placing equipment with precision.

For society to take a great leap, however, requires more than a willing industry and exponential technologies like 5G. It requires other leadership – not least governmental – as well as policies and incentives to deliver digitalization now, paving the way for the necessary reductions well before 2030.

Governmental leaps

A critical ingredient to deploying the 5G network is an investment friendly environment. In concrete terms, this means governments removing barriers to 5G deployment such as fast-tracking permits, lowering site costs and setting fees that cover only administrative costs. It also means freeing up or finding sites for equipment, which is an issue across the Americas and Europe.

In addition to deployment, it means releasing 5G spectrum quickly, with supply maximized and assigned in a manner that incentives wide and rapid deployment. In Europe, for example, only 25.5 percent of 5G spectrum has been released to member states. The slow release is, in large part, due to a near-sighted focus on gathering industry fees and taxations, rather than harnessing the overwhelming long-term benefits – financial, societal, environmental – of releasing spectrum sooner and getting enterprises up and running on 5G quicker. Since 2000, European operators have spent EUR160bn on spectrum fees which could have covered the EUR155bn investment shortfall the European Commission calculates is needed to meet its 2025 connectivity targets.

There are best practices to learn from. Austria, for example, in their recent multi-band spectrum auction, used additional coverage obligation discounts to drive down costs. Total proceeds were 20 percent lower than the expected minimum, representing a trade-off value of EUR500m. Critically however, 1,700 undeserved communities will now get 5G. The auction was designed to secure coverage, not only for a high percentage of the population but also highways, roads and railway routes.

The positive environmental impacts in those communities and along transport and infrastructure routes will be felt for years to come. This shows that the much-needed green transition can be accelerated by governments if an investment friendly climate for digital infrastructure is provided.

The learnings from 2020 tell us that digitalization, underpinned by mobile network services and cloud technologies, can be accelerated by years. Across many sectors of society, the same will be true when it comes to CO2 reductions. 5G opens up these new opportunities – why not use it to reach our goals faster? I challenge governments and our sector to join me in this critical ambition.

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French Company “Groupe Duval” sets to construct an Environmental Friendly Commercial building Near Kigali Convention Centre

On Tuesday, the Office of the Rwandan President announced that President Kagame had received the CEO of Group Duval, Eric Duval, and his team, to discuss the projects the company plans to launch in Rwanda soon.

Groupe Duval is a French-based company, founded in 1996 by Eric Duval but managed by Pauline Duval. It has more than 4,000 employees and over the past 25 years, it has raised more than $ 700 million from construction investment.

In Rwanda its activities will be managed by a company called Duval Great Lakes Ltd headed by Vicky Murabukirwa.

Groupe Duval has invested in construction projects, hospitality, food processing and more.

Among the projects Duval Great Lakes Ltd plans for Rwanda include one of the most unique to construct a commercial building in Kimihurura next to the Kigali Convention Center, TOP Africa news has learnt from IGIHE.COM.

The modern commercial building will be constructed in a way that is environmentally friendly. It will also include the French Hotel Company, Odalys City Business Apart Hotel.

Named “INZOVU”, the building will feature a variety of business activities, games, entertainment, restaurants and more.

It is also expected to be a bridge to increase the number of tourists visiting Rwanda.

This year is expected to be the start of the project, where construction work will be fast-tracked.

The company is also set to take over the management of the new Golf Course through UGolf Great Lakes Ltd, a subsidiary of UGolf which is currently controlled by Groupe Duval.

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Ericsson President and CEO Börje Ekholm outlines COVID 19 consequences on our online lives, and why we cannot go back to pre-pandemic habits

Through Covid-19, connectivity has become an even bigger part of critical infrastructure, helping people in an unprecedented way to work, study and socialize online. Looking forward, governments need to do more to harness the potential of 5G if we’re both to emerge stronger from the pandemic and tackle greater challenges such as climate change.

These are two of my takeaways from the World Economic Forum’s three-part 5G Outlook Series, the final installment of which was recently published and to which Ericsson, as part of a multi-stakeholder working group, contributed.

Shifting behaviors

A year on from its onset, many of the global behavioral changes stemming from Covid-19 are clear, not least the move from offline to online domains. Last year, we could see that consumers’ use of fixed broadband increased by an average of two and half hours per day, and on mobile by one hour.

In its first 5G Outlook Series report, the World Economic Forum (WEF) highlighted several activities behind that increased usage: in healthcare, a 490 percent increase in telemedicine urgent care visits; in socialization a 75 percent increase in online gaming; and in retail, online transactions were up 74 percent globally. In the world of work, Ericsson’s Mobility Report showed 60 percent of white-collar workers increased their usage of video calls.

Networks passed the stress test

Despite the sudden and unprecedented changes in traffic patterns and demand, the networks performed well with operators generally providing enough network performance. This strong performance was reflected in users’ perceptions, with 83 percent claiming ICT helped them a lot, in one way or another, to cope with lockdown.

My first key takeaway from the WEF reports is that through Covid-19, connectivity became an even bigger part of critical infrastructure, helping people in an unprecedented way to work, study and socialize online. Without the investments made in 4G and 5G, telemedicine, video calls, gaming – none of these uses could have been delivered to the extent seen through the pandemic.

No going back to the pre-pandemic status quo

With vaccines rolling out and an end to the pandemic in sight, there is a risk that society will seek to return to pre-pandemic routines and habits. It is obvious the world cannot move forward by returning to a pre-pandemic status quo.

If we are to emerge strongly from Covid-19 and tackle greater challenges, such as climate change, then not only do we need to continue the digital evolution, but we need to accelerate it with 5G at the forefront.

5G at the forefront of digital evolution

With attributes such as high speed and low latency, and as an enabler of other technologies such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, 5G is designed to be a platform upon which enterprises can take forward efficient, low-cost, low emission uses.

This can be seen in factory settings, for example, where 5G uses gather in the form of automated heating, ventilation, air conditioning, light control and building management. Many of these 5G uses, the economic and environmental benefits derived from them, are explored in Ericsson’s 5G Smart Factory.

In a similar vein within agriculture, WEF highlights, there are several 5G use cases whereby the use of sensors and other connected devices allow farmers to produce more output whilst consuming fewer scarce natural resources, such as water.

One such example offered is Agroscope, a center for agricultural research in Switzerland. The center has deployed real-time sensors that measure soil moisture, crop growth, weather data and animal movements. These sensors have allowed farmers to decrease the amount of nitrogen fertilizer use by roughly 10 percent, without any corresponding loss in crop yield.

Broadband and 5G, as the European Commission makes clear, lay the foundation for the green and digital transformation of the economy, regardless of whether we talk about transport and energy, healthcare and education, or manufacturing and agriculture.

Switzerland in focus

Staying with Switzerland, few countries have been as quick to see the potential in 5G and commit. In 2019, Swisscom switched on the first European commercial 5G network, and today 90 percent of the population is covered by 5G.

Now they will see benefits in economic competitiveness with enterprises gaining first-mover advantages in educational attainment with online learning strengthened through VR, and they will see benefits environmentally through reduced emissions.

5G is scalable, and if other countries were to use Switzerland as a template, the global benefits would be enormous.

World in focus

Looking at a global scale, environmentally, digital technology can accelerate the reduction of global emissions by up to 15 percent by 2030, while being responsible for only 1.4 percent of global emissions.

Whilst economically, ‘industry analysts have suggested 5G will add USD3.8 trillion of gross output by 2035, supporting 22.8 million new jobs’.

With rewards, however, come risks. One such risk is the threat of exacerbated inequality, through varied adoption of digital technology. For example, by the end of 2026, Ericsson forecasts 3.5 billion 5G subscriptions globally. In North America, 80 percent of its subscriptions are expected to be 5G, whilst in sub-Saharan Africa the forecast is only 5 percent.

Given that, by 2030, we forecast that two-thirds of the world’s workforces will depend on 5G connectivity, it is critical that we work towards closing the digital skills divide and promote an agenda which ensures digital inclusion, a point echoed in the report series.

Governments as 5G catalysts

Governments have a long way to go in helping rollout 5G, if we want to use it to emerge strongly from Covid-19, harness its economic and environmental opportunities, whilst mitigating inequality. This is my second key takeaway from the 5G Outlook Series and I would echo WEF ‘s conclusion from their final report: ‘where governments can work with the communications industry to defray network roll-out costs, nations are more likely to see widespread 5G benefits across the economy sooner. Democratizing 5G in this manner is a significant way of avoiding a 5G-driven digital divide.’

More concretely, instead of focusing on capturing limited spectrum fees and dragging out rollouts, governments need to see themselves as investment catalysts. They need to focus on the bigger economic and environmental benefits which come from spectrum being released quickly, supply maximized and getting enterprises up and running on 5G.

The spectrum, which is the system that carries data from user equipment to cellular base stations to the data’s endpoint, also needs to be assigned in a manner that incentivizes wide and rapid deployment to ensure equitable access. Furthermore, barriers such as permitting delays, sighting rules, harmonizing radio frequency exposure values need to go. Doing this will help accelerate the uptake of 5G.

In conclusion, Covid-19 demonstrated the enormous value of our digital infrastructure. If society is to emerge stronger from the pandemic and tackle greater challenges, then governments need to act more as catalysts and unleash the potential of 5G.

Ericsson is a strategic partner to the World Economic Forum and contributor to its 5G Accelerator Program which aims to build better connected, more resilient societies to respond to and recover from Covid-19. Their report series, 5G Outlook, which is part of the Program, can be accessed here.

This blog post originally appeared on WEF Agenda.