Ericsson sees 5G as the foundation for expanding the potential of the networked society — in particular, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the industrial Internet. Ericsson is one of the key companies pushing the industry toward 5G standardization.
Essential to Ericsson’s view of the 5G landscape is network slicing; the company envisions network slices as on-demand virtual networks. Ericsson is also doing important 5G work in the areas of fixed wireless and automated vehicles.
Significant Ericsson 5G Trials
In August 2017, AT&T and Ericsson conducted fixed-wireless 5G trials in Austin, Texas using the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum to deliver speeds up to 1 Gb/s and latency rates well under 10 milliseconds. Another trial in Waco, Texas, featured 28-GHz radios, virtualized RAN, and a full 5G virtualized core. “By testing the technologies in a live commercial-like environment and trialing new 5G use cases together,” said Joakim Sorelius, head of product area network systems at Ericsson, “we are able to gain valuable experience in preparation for commercial deployments based on 3GPP New Radio (NR) technology.”
In June 2017, Ericsson and SK Telecom were awarded “Best 5G Trial Between an Operator and Vendor” at the TechXLR8 Awards in London. The award recognized Ericsson’s work conducting the first multi-vehicular 5G trials. During the trial, Ericsson and SK Telecom successfully deployed network slicing and 5G radio network infrastructure to cover a complete test track.
In February 2017, Ericsson collaborated with Stromnetz Berlin and Deutsche Telekom to examine 5G use cases in the power grid as part of the 5Grid project at Adlershof in Berlin, one of the largest technology parks in Europe. The companies aimed to show how 5G networks can benefit the energy sector.
Ericsson also partnered with UK operator British Telecom (BT) on a report stating that network slicing is key for the IoT business case. The Ericsson 5G report, “Scalable network opportunities—an economic study of 5G network slicing for IoT service deployment,” finds that network slicing enables new revenue generation, lower impacted opex, and greater capex efficiency. The report also found that the investment in automation required for network slicing is paid back rapidly, and the benefits are seen even with a small number of service launches with network slicing, and an increase with the scale of services added thereafter.
Ericsson 5G Future
Ericsson believes that 5G’s business models and applications represent a big opportunity for operators. The company predicts a $582 billion global market by 2026, as telecom operators leverage 5G technology for industry digitalization. Ericsson also predicts that North America will lead the world in 5G connections by 2022.