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Ericsson Mobility Report: Sub-Saharan Africa to reach 70 million 5G subscriptions by 2026

  • Discernible volumes of 5G subscriptions are expected from 2022, reaching 7 percent in 2026.
  • By the end of 2026, Sub-Saharan Africa will have around 70 million 5G subscriptions
  • Consumers will have added an average of 3.4 online services to their daily online activities by 2025

Ericsson recently unveiled two reports that, together, forecast the post-pandemic world and the future of 5G in Sub-Saharan Africa and around the world.

The 20th edition of the Ericsson Mobility report (EMR) was recently released with local data that highlight unique trends in each individual market, including Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ericsson projects that 5G mobile subscriptions will exceed 580 million by the end of 2021, driven by an estimated one million new 5G mobile subscriptions every day. The forecast, which features in the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, confirms the expectation that 5G will become the fastest adopted mobile generation. 5G is expected to surpass a billion subscriptions two years ahead of the 4G LTE timeline for the same milestone.

The report features breakout statistics from Sub-Saharan African markets where around 15 percent of mobile subscriptions were for 4G at the end of 2020. Mobile broadband subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa are predicted to increase, reaching 76 percent of mobile subscriptions by 2026. However, 5G volumes are not expected to grow in the region for 2021 but are likely to reach around 70 million 5G subscriptions in 2026.

Separately, the Global Telecom Market Report (GTM) also known as “The Future of Urban Reality Report” was also recently launched by the Ericsson ConsumerLab, to assess the penetration of 5G and the tremendous potential it holds to markets around the world.

The latest Ericsson ConsumerLab report is Ericsson’s largest consumer study to date, revealing key insights about what Sub-Saharan African consumers believe will happen beyond the pandemic, into the year 2025, through surveying a sample of 1,000 to 2,000 respondents between the ages of 15–79.

The report found that, when entering the “next normal”, consumers in Africa will have added an average of 3.4 online services to their daily online activities, while also increasing the time they spend online by 10 hours per week by 2025, in comparison to their pre-pandemic habits.

This move is also expected to bridge the gap between moderate and advanced online users, with the more moderate online users having introduced more online services in their daily life over the course of the pandemic.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of online education at schools and universities as well as remote working has increased to 87 percent and 63 percent respectively. Going forward online education and remote working are collectively expected to remain at a level of 51 percent.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of online shopping stood at 28 percent out of the total number of all shopping events, both online and at physical stores. During the COVID-19  pandemic, this figure increased to 47 percent. Consumers anticipate their habits around online shopping will remain at a level of 37 percent after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.

Todd Ashton, Vice President and Head of Ericsson South and East Africa says: “The recent reports have demonstrated the success of setting #AfricaInMotion. Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to see continued growth in mobile broadband thanks to the young population, increased coverage, and more affordable smartphones. By 2025, we will be looking at a new normal with online activities becoming more common daily. 4G will become more pervasive and 5G will start to grow. As a result, we will definitely see increased economic growth and an acceleration in Africa’s digital inclusion.

Ericsson has found that despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, service providers continue to switch on 5G, and more than 160 service providers have launched commercial 5G services.  


The Future Urban Reality Report

Ericsson Mobility Report


Rwanda: Ericsson Country Manager explains company’s role in helping Women in ICT

Jacques Kabandana, Country Manager of Ericsson Rwanda is explaining the company’s role in helping Women to achieve their ICT ambitions.

Ericsson has committed a major role to develop female STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) leaders, in support of gender diversity in the workplace. For example, Ericsson is helping the Girl Scouts in the U.S. meet their pledge to put 2.5 million girls in to progressive STEM pipeline by 2025.

  • How has Ericson been involved in this agenda, which is in line with the SDGs 4, 5, 9 and 17 in the Africa region?
  • Give us a picture of How Ericsson has been involved in bridging the gender gap in ICTs

The Ericsson Graduate Program in Africa aims to grow the technical skills of graduates, train them in the Ericsson technology, solutions and their delivery and understanding our processes, methods, and tools. The Graduate Program helps Ericsson to move the needle on gender equality within the field of technology as half of the graduates hired are women.

Inspiring young girls and women to enter in STEM subjects requires role models and motivational education. To that end, we partnered with Technovation for the 2021 challenge. Technovation Girls equips young women (ages 10-18) to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders. With the support of volunteer mentors, girls work in teams to code mobile apps that address real-world problems.

To further demonstrate this commitment, we also created our Connect to Learn program, a global education initiative launched in partnership with like-minded organizations. The global initiative Connect To Learn is tackling access to education head-on. Without quality education, young people have diminished opportunities and are more vulnerable to poor health, early and forced marriage and other forms of violence. Girls in particular have a much greater chance of improving their quality of life through education, with a World Bank study recently showing that every year in secondary school correlates with an 18 percent increase in a girl’s future earning power.Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 aims to ensure inclusive, quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. Connect to Learn supports this ambition by using technology to give those most in need access to quality education. We believe improving educational opportunities is also vital for achieving other sustainable development goals, such as gender equality.

  • What does this STEM agenda mean to Ericsson?

As digital infrastructure and transaction become increasingly impactful to the development of the African societies and economies, affordable broadband access will need to be extended to over a billion individuals to bridge the digital divide and enable them to reap the benefits of the digital economy. Connectivity plays a key role in powering Africa’s digital future and in achieving a positive impact on people’s lives. And as we progress towards faster and technically superior times – the era of 5G – it is only right that leaders, men and women, of the ICT sector inspire and engage more and more young girls and women to take up STEM studies as a career opportunity, raising awareness for a better tomorrow. Having many more young girls/women join ICT as a career is important not only because diverse and inclusive teams lead to better working environment but also because it has a huge impact on our productivity.   It is imperative that young women are engaged and motivated to stay the course with STEM subjects. That means breaking the barriers to entry and showcasing the impact they can have on an industry like Information and Communications Technology.

We believe that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is the catalyst for digital transformation, with mobile networks being the crucial ingredient in increasing Africa’s economic competitiveness in the global arena. While we have witnessed impressive market developments in recent years, Africa’s ICT sector still has growth potential compared to leading economies. The future of STEM studies as a career choice is truly exciting as many ICT students today will work in jobs that don’t exist yet!

  • Which area in the STEM agenda has Ericson put focus so as to develop in the region?
  • What has been the impact or progress made by Ericsson in promoting this agenda

Technology has the incredible potential to secure the wellbeing of developing economies by transforming education and health services. With education being key to true and sustainable change, Ericsson partnered with UNICEF to help identify connectivity gaps and eliminate the digital divide. Mapping the connectivity landscape is a critical first step towards connecting every school to the internet and providing each child with access to learning opportunities. Through our expertise in ICT we will help to provide an understanding of where connectivity is needed the most; utilizing data engineering and data science capacity to accelerate school connectivity mapping. We will help develop a solution that supports the Giga initiative through the collection, validation, analysis, monitoring and visualization of real-time school connectivity data. The visualization helps governments and the private sector design and deploy digital interventions to support learning for children and young people. The more we’re able to support with digital interventions, the better are young children equipped to tackle a future in STEM.

  • Now that it is clear women have been seriously affected by COVID-19, what plans does Ericsson have in ensuring they regain the progress in integrating gender in ICT- that was attained before COVID-19?

Ericsson has been working to empower women within the industry for over 140 years. We believe gender equality and empowerment is at the heart of our success story, as women have strongly contributed to the company’s successes. But across the wider technology sector, one of the main issues facing companies is that there remains a limited amount of talent within STEM subjects, in which the proportion of women continues to be disproportionately low. A further challenge that many companies face when it comes to gender issues in the workplace is unconscious bias, which may take place unintentionally but has a potentially damaging effect on operations and performances. Globally at Ericsson we are actively de-biasing processes to ensure people processes are as equitable as possible. In an era where data is readily available organizations can study where there are identifiably prone areas of the recruitment and people processes, which allows companies to standardize these processes transparently and make fact-based decisions.

There are huge business benefits to having women in leadership and C-suite positions. For example, an EY study of the top 200 utilities in the world found that companies with high levels of gender equality on their boards had higher returns on investments. In fact, the top 20 most diverse utilities significantly outperformed the bottom 20 – a difference that could be in the millions of dollars or more.A separate study of Fortune 500 companies conducted by Catalyst found that organizations with high levels of gender equality in management positions had 35% better return on equity than firms that hadn’t taken similar steps.

On a broader, macro level, gender parity in labor markets would mean an additional $12 to $28 trillion added to global GDP. To put that in perspective, that’s approximately the value of the American and Chinese economies of today – combined.

Part of achieving more of this will mean nurturing young female talents from an early age, encouraging them to take additional responsibilities and empowering them with the skills they need to succeed. And Ericsson has been working hard to tackle this across the globe and have been a longtime supporter of the ITU-D’s Girls in ICT Day, which aims to create a positive global environment which empowers and encourages young women to choose a field in ICT.It is crucial we continue to run our flagship programs such as Connect To Learnwhich I mentioned earlier, which is a concrete way through which we are supporting the education of women and girls. We strongly encourage girls to study STEM subjects that will prepare them for employment in the ICT sector. Ensuring inclusivity and diversity means practicing these values throughout the consciousness of an organization and we’re proud at Ericsson that throughout the pandemic we have encouraged and supported co-parenting requirements through a range of programs and flexibility. For example, we have programs focused on mental health and work life balance that ensures all genders can cover their personal and professional responsibilities with ease.

We believe we have achieved social awareness and have progressed towards gender equality, however, in terms of achieving the sustainable development goal, we all need to work together to make this a reality for everyone.

  • What are some of the best practices that Ericsson is looking at or committed to promoting that can be replicated in the African region?
  • We have had an ambition to reach 30% female representation across all levels in the company, including our executive leaders, by 2020. We’ve been working hard to ensure that we consider and create diversity and inclusion in everything we do, building teams that reflect our approach. We encourage programs that include a wide variety of people, like mentoring circles and advisory boards
  • We also work with communities to educate young girls about our industry and encourage them to pursue roles within it; Connect to Learnis one of the concrete ways that we are working to support the education of women and girls. We strongly encourage girls to study STEM subjects that will prepare them for employment in the ICT sector. Gender diversity is important for us not only for business reasons but also because we know that jobs in the ICT sector have significant potential to help in the achievement of the gender equality element outlined in the sustainable development goals.
  • We’re also working to address unconscious bias. We have been working on new experiments based on behavioral science in several of our people processes like hiring, performance and succession management. All in effort to mitigate the risk of unconscious bias seeping into decisions of our employee lifecycle. To date two experiments have started with another three planned to kick off.


It’s time to make the business case for gender equality

By Caroline Berns, Head of Talent Acquisition, Ericsson Middle East and Africa

As individuals, families and organizations around the world come together to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, many will focus on the ‘human’ element: celebrating women’s achievements, fundraising for female-focused charities, and raising awareness about women’s equality.

Doing so is vital – but it isn’t the entire story. Far fewer will focus on the business case for gender equality: the very fact that pushing for gender equality makes extremely strong business sense. Around the world, this fact may ultimately be the one that helps business take action to address gender equality.

Resilient and commercially viable organizations, as we all know, play a vital role in economic growth around the world and boost national economies. Within these organizations, women, of course, represent half of the total of employment potential – meaning that developing the talents of women, in turn, increases a particular organization’s competitive advantage.

The statistics speak for themselves: a recent McKinsey study of 1,000 companies across 12 countries found that firms that had taken steps to improve gender equality were more profitable than national averages. A separate study of Fortune 500 companies conducted by Catalyst found that organizations with high levels of gender equality in management positions had 35% better return on equity than firms that hadn’t taken similar steps.

Additionally, an EY study of the top 200 utilities in the world found that companies with high levels of gender equality on their boards had higher returns on investments. In fact, the top 20 most diverse utilities significantly outperformed the bottom 20 – a difference that could be in the millions of dollars or more.

On a broader, macro level, gender parity in labor markets would mean an additional $12 to $28 trillion added to global GDP. To put that in perspective, that’s approximately the value of the American and Chinese economies of today – combined.

Across the region – and indeed, the world – there remains work to be done. The rapid pace of technological changes means that women must continue to be heavily represented in higher education, to allow them to play an equal role in the future economy.

While governments across the region have collectively made a commitment to gender equality in varying degrees and with multiple local programs in place, in the private sector, there remains a concerning lack of true understanding regarding what equality means – there are various factors that must be considered in terms of equal pay, such as bonuses and shares. Examining a wide variety of factors will ensure true gender parity.

We’ve already noted the huge benefit that having women in leadership and C-suite positions would have on a business. Here again, businesses in the region must re-double efforts. Part of this will mean nurturing young female talents from an early age, encouraging them to take additional responsibilities and empowering them with the skills they need to succeed.

The Covid-19 pandemic, of course, has exacerbated the need to focus on these issues. The WEF’s 2020 Gender Gap report, for example, found that while women made up 39% of the global workforce, they represented 54% percent of all job losses. The Pandemic has also intensified challenges that women already faced; working mothers for example have always done a “double shift”—a full day of work, followed by hours spent doing household work and caring for children. As a result of these dynamics, a study from McKinsey conducted in partnership with LeanIn.Org in the US found that more than one in four women are contemplating what many would have considered unthinkable just a few months ago: downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce completely.  In this environment, it is high time to double – or even triple – efforts to ensure that these issues are addressed.

This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge. Across all sectors, that’s what businesses in this country and the wider MENA region need to do: challenge and call out gender bias and choose to make a change.


Connecting future ports with private cellular networks as shipping industry sets to grow than ever before

By Taimur Lodhi, Ericsson Strategic Marketing Director

According to the World Bank, trade represented more than 60% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019. And 90% of the world’s trade is facilitated by the shipping industry, according to the International Chamber of Shipping. The vast importance of future ports to shipping makes them a vital element for the function of the global economy.

According to statistics data from the United Nations Conference on Trade Development, of the four main types of shipping vessels (oil, bulk cargo, general cargo, and globally standardized containers), the container vessels carry most of the world’s non-bulk items. Many marine terminal operators are seeking new ways to optimize operations through automation. However, container ports have made the most strides in automation to date. This is primarily due to the consistent and standardized nature of the cargo.

In the past, ports operated independently from their peers and exhibited little international collaboration. With a globally standardized container, ports were able to form global container alliances, creating more scalable and automated processes. As smart, connected facilities document additional gains and efficiencies, port operators are increasingly interested in deploying new solutions. However, the high density of devices in a mature smart port presents new challenges and connectivity requirements to manage.

Ericsson’s latest research shows that future ports can create new cost reductions—with an ROI of 178% – as well as increased port worker safety and more responsible environmental impact.

The future of ports: an ocean of opportunity

The shipping industry is set to grow over the next decade. Cargotec, in its Investor presentation (2020), indicated a compound annual growth rate (CARG) of 3.6% for the global container throughput from 2013 to 2024. To handle the growth and increased traffic, future ports will need to adopt smarter and more efficient operations.

Ericsson’s report, “Connected Ports – A guide to making ports smarter with private cellular technology,” details the challenges that ports face. We examined how private cellular networks — typically 4G and 5G — will play a critical role in overcoming these by delivering high-speed connectivity, low latency, and strong performance in environments with high device density. Further, the report features a deep-dive analysis of five high-value use cases that illustrate how 5G-ready networks address specific pain points and offer a path to the future. 

To map the connected ports opportunities, Ericsson collaborated with researchers from Arthur D. Little and experts from ifm electronic GmbH, a global leader in sensor technology and the Industry 4.0 journey.

Navigating stormy seas

The increasing international populations and economic development are also causing consumer and industrial trade demands to grow, and so too must container shipping adapt to keep up. The swell in activity ahead puts more pressure on ports to be more efficient and sustainable while offering more competitive pricing to keep attracting major shipping lines. Port operators are turning to automation and digital transformation to manage any growing pains or choppy waters ahead.

The report details the key challenges faced by ports and how digital transformation can help companies innovate around risky and time-consuming operations to reap returns. For example, if ports adopt remote control or automation for cranes or other equipment, they reduce the risk of harm to onsite human operators and improve efficiency.

Additionally, the report shares the path necessary to bridge the connectivity gaps in future ports. Since previous automation and digital transformation efforts relied on communication technologies that can no longer handle the density, bandwidth, and latency required today, teams need a new approach. For instance, automated guided vehicles navigate throughout the ports as driverless forklifts and other materials handling vehicles. These moving vehicles require ample bandwidth and a reliable connection.

5G-ready private cellular networks enable mission-critical communication services, like voice and data services. In the future, this will help prevent injury, minimize economic impact during disasters or emergencies, and decrease future financial or economic risk. 

5G also means smooth sailing in the future when it comes to positioning accuracy, reliable connectivity for moving objects, as well as using only one backhaul for all services. This ensures port operators can streamline the approach instead of installing several pieces of network equipment on a crane, for example.

Charting the course

To test the value in connected ports, we devised a baseline port with ifm electronic GmbH. The baseline port represents one of the top 100 container ports in the world with approximately 4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) per year, generating roughly USD 400 million in revenue.

We analyzed 5 use cases according to their potential for generating strong value, as well as their feasibility. Use cases include:

  • Automated rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes
  • Remote-controlled ship-to-shore (STS) cranes
  • Automated guided vehicles (AGVs)
  • Condition monitoring
  • Drones for surveillance and deliveries

Safe harbors

Even though the potential for connected ports can span various applications, our research indicated the five use cases above are the most important, with automated RTG cranes, remote-controlled STS cranes, and cellular-connected AGVs among the most beneficial to ports.

What were the findings?

All use cases would pay for themselves in two to three years, and if all five are deployed together, they provide complete payback within two years and a return on investment of 178% by year five. Beyond the tremendous financial benefits, connected ports create a substantial triple bottom line that includes increased productivity and efficiency, reduced costs, improved safety for workers, and a more responsible environmental impact. 

The pre-condition for catching this “rising tide” is implementing fast, reliable, secure connectivity that only a 5G-ready private cellular network can provide. To see the full findings, read the report “Connected Ports” and check out the smart ports value calculator, which will allow you to see new ROI possibilities.


Ericsson report charts smarter ports with 5G private networks

  • Ericsson has released its new Connected Ports report, outlining smart use cases that can optimize port operations, create new cost reductions, increase worker safety and sustainability using private cellular technology. 

Ports and shipping are vital for a well-functioning global economy. According to the World Bank, in 2019, trade represented more than 60 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP). Data from The International Chamber of Shipping reveals that shipping plays by far the largest part in this, facilitating roughly 90 percent of the world’s trading. The ports of the world literally keep its goods flowing.

The comprehensive report, Connected Ports: A guide to making ports smarter with private cellular technology, outlines how challenges of equipment downtime, congested port yards for loading and unloading, worker safety, and environmental impact could be resolved with private cellular networks.

5G-ready private cellular networks provide fast, reliable, and secure connectivity required by a smart port’s network infrastructure to handle the large amounts of data generated by cranes, vehicles, equipment, and workers.

In the maritime report findings, Ericsson collaborated with leading sensor technology provider, ifm electronic, as well as researchers from management consultancy Arthur D. Little, to examine and quantify five use cases with the most beneficial applications for smart port technologies:

  1. Remote-controlled ship-to-shore cranes load and unload container ships, moving containers between the ship and the dock with precision and maneuverability. 
  2. Automated rubber tired gantry cranes stack containers at terminals, crucial for when high-capacity stacking and good maneuverability are needed. 
  3. Automated guided vehicles(AGVs) navigate through the port using smart 3D sensors, handling all port materials, reducing energy costs and risk of accidents. 
  4. Condition monitoring detects faults before they occur, reducing unplanned downtime and maximizing asset productivity. 
  5. Drones deliver documents from ship to shore, reducing costs and environmental impact of crewed boats while also conducting security surveillance of ports. 

The report projects that if all of the five use cases are deployed together, complete payback can be achieved in less than two years. By year five, the report projects that the ROI would be 178 percent for our standard baseline port.

One port that is already deploying these types of smart technologies is Italy’s Port of Livorno – for example, by leveraging 5G technologies to enhance the exchange of real-time information among actors in the port’s terminal process. These applications have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 8.2 percent for one terminal operation.

Learn more by reading the full report, Connected Ports: A guide to making ports smarter with private cellular technology, and try the Smart Ports Value Calculator to figure out the ROI for ports deploying different use cases.


Ericsson named a Leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for 5G Network Infrastructure for Communications Service Providers report

  • Ericsson’s commercial 5G leadership and technology evolution is independently known industry-wide
  • Ericsson positioned highest for ‘Ability to Execute’ in the Gartner Magic Quadrant
  • End-to-end 5G platform central to customer-focused 5G strategy

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has been named a Leader in the 2021 Magic Quadrant for 5G Network Infrastructure for Communications Service Providers by independent IT research and advisory company, Gartner.

Ericsson’s Leaders quadrant recognition in the February 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for 5G Network Infrastructure for Communications Service Providers (CSPs) report recognizes the company’s Leader position in both completeness of vision and ability to execute.

Vendors offering 5G solutions for communications service providers were comprehensively and independently assessed and evaluated by Gartner experts on their completeness of vision and ability to execute, to provide a market snapshot on 5G infrastructure abilities.

End-to-end 5G network infrastructure vendors were evaluated on how they enable IT provider performance to be competitive, efficient and effective and to positively impact revenue, retention and reputation within Gartner’s view of the market. The assessment of ability to execute included Ericsson’s products and services, Market Responsiveness and Track Record, Marketing Execution, Customer Experience, and Overall Viability.

Graphic: 2021 Magic Quadrant for 5G Network Infrastructure for Communications Service Providers report

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says: “From research to rollout, we have invested heavily in 5G to ensure we have the best products, skills and field personnel to meet our customers’ needs. We believe that recognition as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant from Gartner reflects our technology leadership, market competitiveness, determination to innovate and commitment to our customers.”

Ericsson, as an industry leader in 5G networks, currently has more than 130 commercial 5G agreements with unique communications service providers (CSPs) and powers 79 live 5G networks across the globe.

Ericsson continuously evolves its end-to-end 5G offerings, which include Ericsson Radio System, 5G Core, Orchestration and 5G Transport as well as professional services. The company has introduced innovative software solutions such as Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, 5G carrier aggregation and Uplink Booster, which significantly improve coverage, user throughput and spectral efficiency. 

These solutions support service providers in deploying and evolving 5G to ensure the best end-user experience. In addition, Ericsson Radio System products delivered since 2015 can support 5G New Radio (NR) capability through remote software installation.

Ericsson Digital Services offers a dual-mode 5G Core solution for smarter networks to drive smarter business, allowing communications service providers to offer a multitude of new business opportunities for mobile users and industries.

Ericsson’s 5G Core solution combines an Evolved Packet Core and 5G Core network functions into a common cloud-native platform that supports 5G NR Standalone and Non-standalone, plus 4G, 3G and 2G.

Download the full report: the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for 5G Network Infrastructure for Communications Service Providers


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.”


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


Ericsson appoints Sena Erten as Head of People for Market Area Middle East and Africa

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) today announced the appointment of Sena Erten as Vice President and Head of People at Ericsson Middle East and Africa and a member of the market area leadership team.

In her new role, Sena will work to realize the company’s people vision in the market area,inspire and guide the business towards a world-class employee experiencethat is people centered, adopting the latest digital technologies, andleading the way in driving our company culture.In a fast transforming industry, Sena will drive Ericsson’s people transformation in the region through innovative leadership, attracting and retaining the best talents and helping Ericsson to win in the talent marketplace while creating a compelling employee experience.

Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa said: “People are at the center of everything we do at Ericsson. I am delighted to welcome Sena into her new role. Herextensive knowledgeand experiencewill further strengthen our people function.In a high-paced industry, pushing the envelope of technology, Sena will work to address the fast-changingcompetence development needs of our company by unlocking the human potential, upskilling and reskilling talents, enabling us to stay ahead of the market and adding value to our customers.”

Sena brings 20 years of human resources and executive experience to Ericsson, rooted in a passion for people development, building diverse and inclusive cultures and high-performing, empowered organizations.

On the occasion of her appointment, Sena says: “I am excited to join the Ericsson family and be part of the team; realizing Ericsson’s vision of an intelligent, sustainable and connected world. I look forward to drive the company’s people strategy in the region, realizing the talents’ full potential while building a culture of excellence and supporting our teams in finding new and effective ways to engage, lead and collaborate.”

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