5G: Turning Point Technologies

Written by Ulf Pehrsson on 19 June 2018 in Opinion Plus
Opinion Plus

Ericsson’s commitment to 5G for Europe is unique, robust and fully engaged, explains Ulf Pehrsson

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5G, IoT and Cloud are turning point technologies, 5G deployments could deliver socio-economic benefits of more than €110bn and create 2.3 million new jobs in Europe.

Ericsson’s 5G leadership is geared to supporting industries and governments to benefit from high speed and high-quality communications, virtualisation, machine intelligence and other technologies enabling new business models and driving efficiencies.

We are also devoting significant resources to enable a secure and trustworthy 5G ecosystem.


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Through our presence in 43 European countries we are proud to share our 5G expertise and manifest our commitment by Investing around 15 per cent of our global revenues in R&D.

We manufacture in five facilities and employ more than 40,000 people including 14,000 engineers in 21 R&D centres across 14 European countries. This ensures our world class 45,000 plus patent portfolio is available to all innovators on a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory basis.

We also launched the world’s first 5G platform making landmark contributions to 5G global standardisation and are currently supporting nine business incubators in Europe with the ambition of catalysing Made in Europe solutions.

We are also engaged in 100 academic and research institutions collaborations.

"5G spectrum needs to be quickly assigned in a way that incentivises investment and encourages the efficient deployment of new technologies"

As a global company active in more than 180 countries, Ericsson has a unique perspective of the importance of communications technologies for societal and industrial development.

Robust, secure and universal broadband connectivity, and the freedom for all players to try out new business models on fair and reasonable terms, is required to safeguard European competitiveness and jobs.

While we and our European partners may drive the design and architecture of 5G technology, North America and North-East Asia are expected to take early leads in 5G deployments, commercialisation and adoption.

To catch up, we see three main areas for European policymakers to concentrate on.

"More ambition is therefore needed from policy makers in securing an environment where European data-innovations can flourish"

First, 5G spectrum needs to be quickly assigned in a way that incentivises investment and encourages the efficient deployment of new technologies. Doing so will ensure scale economies are achieved that will drive down ecosystem and consumer costs.

Second, 5G networks require greater investment than previous technology generations not least because many more physical sites are required: the cost and delays associated with site acquisition need to be reduced to achieve greater coverage and a better consumer experience.

Third, 5G networks are state of the art computing platforms that will require appropriate enabling regulation such as the horizontal provisions on cross-border data flows in Free Trade Agreements.

More ambition is therefore needed from policy makers in securing an environment where European data-innovations can flourish.

This is paramount as not only will it allow Europe to reach the full potential of cross sector innovation, but will also position European industries and entrepreneurs favourably as we transition into the fourth industrial revolution.

About the author

Ulf Pehrsson is Vice President Government & Industry Relations at Ericsson

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