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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

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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.”

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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
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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

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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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Ericsson recognized for COVID-19 response leadership by Global Business Alliance

The Global Business Alliance (GBA) recognized Ericsson for its innovative contribution to combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, GBA members have utilized their expertise, resources and dedicated employees to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What’s amazing about Ericsson’s story is how they mobilized their highly-skilled workforce to share their technical expertise in deep learning to help researchers better understand this disease,” said Nancy McLernon, president and CEO of the Global Business Alliance.

At the onset of the pandemic in the U.S., more than 350 Ericsson employees came together virtually as a volunteer team, leveraging automation and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to create tools to accurately utilize the ever-growing set of academic papers published on the COVID-19 virus. In just 27 days, the team completed and submitted a solution for all nine tasks included within the federal government’s COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Challenge (CORD-19), which aimed to develop AI tools to help the medical research community address urgent questions posed by the pandemic.

“Ericsson employees have always been eager to jump in and help, leveraging our technology for good. It’s truly part of our culture where our employees embrace the responsibility to give back through selfless volunteering,” said Niklas Heuveldop, President and Head of Ericsson North America. “This was a very different challenge and a true testament to the resourcefulness and dedication of our team across the world, mobilizing quickly to help contribute to a solution for this global pandemic. Thank you Global Business Alliance for supporting international companies in the United States, and recognizing Ericsson for this award.”

Ericsson’s effort produced significant results in the form of research tools that enable medical professionals, public health officials and other leaders to synthesize the increasing volume of medical research on COVID-19 and related viruses that now consists of over 200,000 articles.

The Awards, which were presented by GBA in a virtual event streamed earlier, showcase the significant contributions that international companies make to local U.S. communities. Many international companies offer their employees the opportunity to volunteer and help direct the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts.

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The crucial role of network slicing in realizing the full potential of 5G

By Zoran Lazarevic, Chief Technology Officer at Ericsson Middle East and Africa

The digital era has the potential to transform industry and society, and with the introduction of 5G around the world, countless new business models have become a possibility. New-generation technology and services come with their unique connectivity and performance-related challenges. So, communication service providers (CSP) need efficient and flexible technologies to meet the demands of these new services.

This is where network slicing comes in – providing the capability to enable new business models across a broad industry spectrum. This solution allows operators to segment the network to support particular services and deploy multiple logical networks for different service types over one common infrastructure.

With the combination of 5G and network slicing, CSPs can offer new services, such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and real-time automation, with guaranteed performance to the enterprise and mobile broadband (MBB) market segment. In doing so, access to potential new sources of revenue, and improved ways to support their customers, will open up.

5G RAN slicing for next-level services

In the era of industry digitalization, efficient solutions are needed to address simultaneously services that need high bandwidth and services with low latency or ultra-reliability. These new services will have different/unique performance requirements characterized through the service level agreements (SLA). The CSPs need the capability to guaranty fulfillment of SLAs while creating end-to-end that spans over the radio access network (RAN), core network and transport network. The ability to monitor and control performances in the RAN is the vital part and this is where the 5G RAN slicing solution comes to play.

The 5G RAN slicing solution allows for the slice-aware observability, dynamic radio resource partitioning on a 1ms level, quality of service, and slice orchestration functionality. This way, service providers can deliver SLA based 5G slices to drive innovation in smart manufacturing, healthcare, online gaming and other emerging enterprise and MBB use cases.

RAN slicing builds on existing 5G network investments and secures the efficient allocation of limited radio resources to facilitate the creation of next-level services while guaranteeing the fulfillment of SLAs. RAN slicing will considerably shorten time-to-market and improve the total cost of ownership for the CSPs when offering the new services.

In offering the new services, CSPs are initially focusing on augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), cloud gaming, and other MBB-based use cases in the consumer market segment. As end-to-end network slicing matures, use cases will continue to grow both in number and complexity. Examples in the enterprise verticals already include smart surveillance, real-time automation and remote operation. Strong interest has been observed in tailor-made slices for the financial services sector in certain Asian countries.

With the increased number of slices, created for various use cases, complexity will also increase. This increased complexity will demand end-to-end slice orchestration and automation to carry out slice lifecycle management.

RAN slice orchestration is part of end-to-end slice orchestration, enabling automation of slice lifecycle management tasks such as slice provisioning, activation, supervision and service assurance.

Ericsson RAN slicing solution enables service providers to offer differentiated handling of new services with respective quality of service and radio resource management for SLA fulfillment. What’s more, our solution is scalable and flexible enough to support a growing number of slicing use cases with faster time to market.

Ericsson network slicing solution provides the opportunity to monetize CSPs 5G investment and open the door for the new revenue streams from enterprise and MBB segment. The objective is to achieve full dynamic orchestration of end-to-end slicing with optimal automation.

For more information on this topic, read our latest paper in which we discuss the importance of RAN slicing in delivering on the promise of 5G.

Download the 5G RAN slicing report here

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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.

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The Future Of Jobs And Education

Bernard Marr,  ContributorEnterprise Tech

The world of work has been changing for some time, with an end to the idea of jobs for life and the onset of the gig economy. But just as in every other field where digital transformation is ongoing, the events of 2020 have accelerated the pace of this change dramatically.

The International Labor Organization has estimated that almost 300 million jobs are at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic. Of those that are lost, almost 40% will not come back. According to research by the University of Chicago, they will be replaced by automation to get work done more safely and efficiently. Particularly at risk are so-called “frontline” jobs – customer service, cashiers, retail assistant, and public transport being just a few examples. But no occupation or profession is entirely future proof. Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), even tasks previously reserved for highly trained doctors and lawyers – diagnosing illness from medical images, or reviewing legal case history, for example – can now be carried out by machines.

At the same time, the World Economic Forum, in its 2020 Future of Jobs report, finds that 94% of companies in the UK will accelerate the digitization of their operations as a result of the pandemic, and 91% are saying they will provide more flexibility around home or remote working.

If you’re in education or training now, this creates a dilemma. Forget the old-fashioned concept of a “job for life,” which we all know is dead – but will the skills you’re learning now even still be relevant by the time you graduate?

One thing that’s sure is that we’re moving into an era where education is life-long. With today’s speed of change, there are fewer and fewer careers where you can expect the knowledge you pick up in school or university to see you through to retirement.All of this has created a perfect environment for online learning to boom. Rather than moving to a new city and dedicating several years to studying for a degree, it’s becoming increasingly common to simply log in from home and fit education around existing work and family responsibilities.

This fits with the vision of Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of online learning platform Coursera. Coursera was launched in 2012 by a group of Stanford professors interested in using the internet to widen access to world-class educational content. Today, 76 million learners have taken 4,500 different courses from 150 universities, and the company is at the forefront of the wave of transformation spreading through education.

 “The point I focus on,” he told me during our recent conversation, “is that the people who have the jobs that are going to be automated do not currently have the skills to get the new jobs that are going to be created.”

Without intervention, this could lead to an “everyone loses” scenario, where high levels of unemployment coincide with large numbers of vacancies going unfilled because businesses can’t find people with the necessary skills.

The answer here is a rethink of education from the ground up, Maggioncalda says, and it’s an opinion that is widely shared. Another WEF statistic tells us 66% of employers say they are accelerating programs for upskilling employees to work with new technology and data.

Models of education will change, too, as the needs of industry change. Coursera is preparing for this by creating new classes of qualification such as its Entry-Level Professional Certificates. Often provided directly by big employers, including Google and Facebook, these impart a grounding in the fundamentals needed to take on an entry-level position in a technical career, with the expectation that the student would go on to continue their education to degree level while working, through online courses, or accelerated on-campus semesters.

“The future of education is going to be much more flexible, modular, and online. Because people will not quit their job to go back to campus for two or three years to get a degree, they can’t afford to be out of the workplace that long and move their families. There’s going to be much more flexible, bite-sized modular certificate programs that add up to degrees, and it’s something people will experience over the course of their working careers,” says Maggioncalda.

All of this ties nicely with the growing requirements that industry has for workers that are able to continuously reskill and upskill to keep pace with technological change. It could lead to an end of the traditional model where our status as students expires as we pass into adulthood and employment.

Rather than simply graduating and waving goodbye to their colleges as they throw their mortarboards skywards, students could end up with life-long relationships with their preferred providers of education, paying a subscription to remain enrolled and able to continue their learning indefinitely.

“Because why wouldn’t the university want to be your lifelong learning partner?” Maggioncalda says.

“As the world changes, you have a community that you’re familiar with, and you can continue to go back and learn – and your degree is kind of never really done – you’re getting micro-credentials and rounding out your portfolio. This creates a great opportunity for higher education.”

Personally, I feel that this all points to an exciting future where barriers to education are broken down, and people are no longer blocked from studying by the fact they also need to hold down a job, or simply because they can’t afford to move away to start a university course.

With remote working increasingly common, factors such as where we happen to grow up, or where we want to settle and raise families, will no longer limit our aspirations for careers and education. This could lead to a “democratization of education,” with lower costs to the learner as employers willingly pick up the tab for those who show they can continually improve their skillsets.

As the world changes, education changes too. Austere school rooms and ivory-tower academia are relics of the last century. While formal qualifications and degrees aren’t likely to vanish any time soon, the way they are delivered in ten years’ time is likely to be vastly different than today, and ideas such as modular, lifelong learning, and entry-level certificates are a good indication of the direction things are heading.

You can watch my conversation with Jeff Maggioncalda in full, where among other topics, we also cover the impact of Covid-19 on building corporate cultures and the implications of the increasingly globalized, remote workforce.

Read the original story here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2020/12/11/the-future-of-jobs-and-education/?sh=7282e0703d9f

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Ooredoo Group and Ericsson sign five-year strategic 5G agreement

  • The strategic five-year agreement will enhance the digital experience for people, enterprises and industries across Ooredoo’s operating companies in 10 countries
  • The deal includes Ericsson Radio System, Ericsson Cloud Core, Cloud Infrastructure, Ericsson Cloud Communication, and Ericsson microwave solutions
  • Ericsson 5G products and solutions to help Ooredoo launch new functionalities with faster time-to-market

Ooredoo Group and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) have signed a global frame agreement for the supply of 5G radio, core and transport products and solutions, as well as related implementation and integration services. The agreement covers all 10 of the Group’s operating companies in Qatar, Indonesia, Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Tunisia, Myanmar and Maldives.

The agreement covers Ericsson Radio System, including MINI-LINK 6000 products that are capable of 10Gbps, Ericsson Cloud CoreCloud Infrastructure and Ericsson Cloud Communication solutions. This will enable end-to-end 5G support to digitally transform and modernize Ooredoo’s existing mobile networks across its operating companies. These solutions will also significantly shorten time-to-market for new services and improve Ooredoo’s network performance to meet the growing expectations of consumers and enterprises.

Ericsson Radio System is already deployed and live in several of Ooredoo’s operating companies. In Ooredoo Qatar’s network, Ericsson Radio System, using the 4G/5G Ericsson Spectrum Sharing solution, has facilitated fast nationwide 5G coverage. Furthermore, in preparation of Ooredoo Qatar’s network to host multiple global sporting events, Ericsson is deploying its latest 5G midband Massive MIMO radios to create a unique digital experience for millions of sports fans in stadiums, at home, or on-the-go.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer, Ooredoo Group, says: “The agreement represents another step in the longstanding and successful partnership between Ericsson and Ooredoo, which enables our company to continue network expansion, enhancement and digital transformation. Ericsson is bringing state-of-the-art global technologies to the countries we operate in, which enables us to provide the latest digital solutions for communities to enjoy the best of the internet, including connecting the most remote areas, supporting startups digitally and providing immersive experiences for sports fans at upcoming mega-sporting events.”

With a turnkey responsibility, Ericsson will deliver a comprehensive portfolio of telecom services. Under the agreement, Ericsson will provide hardware and software expansions of the core network, radio network and transmission network, as well as enhanced mobile multimedia functionality for new service offerings.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “5G as a platform for innovation will speed up Ooredoo’s journey towards digital transformation. It will fuel new use cases that cater to evolving consumer and enterprise demands. It is with great pride that we strengthen our collaboration as we continue supporting Ooredoo’s ambition of delivering high-performing networks and superior user experience.”

Ericsson’s expertise in network design, deployment and integration and software upgrades will support Ooredoo’s transition to advanced multimedia services. Under the agreement, Ericsson will also provide support and maintenance services.

Read the original story here https://www.topafricanews.com/2021/01/05/ooredoo-group-and-ericsson-sign-five-year-strategic-5g-agreement/