Ericsson Technology Review


Ericsson Technology Review
Ulf Ewaldsson
  • Ulf Ewaldsson,
  • Senior Vice President
  • Group CTO, and Head of Group Function Technology

Providing connectivity for the IoT – and in particular for the massive MTC sector – needs to be accomplished in a sustainable and affordable manner. Connectivity needs to be able to adapt to meet the requirements of different applications like crop and building monitoring, surveillance, and fleet/cargo tracking, which various industries are currently developing. Typically, these massive MTC use cases include substantial numbers of devices, which transmit small amounts of data, and are spread out over a wide geographical area. The devices used are simple and often placed in signal-challenged locations like basements and remote rural areas. The problem: deploying radio-access designed for mobile broadband to deliver connectivity for MTC scenarios doesn't make economic sense.

The connectivity needs for MTC applications often include strict performance targets, especially when it comes to latency, yet support for voice is often unnecessary, while battery lifetime is a significant issue. So, what the massive MTC sector needs is a sustainable radio-access solution designed specifically to meet its needs in terms of performance while reducing battery wear. This technology is narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT), and the latest Ericsson Technology Review articles reveals how this solution is being designed and how it can be deployed in GSM spectrum, within an LTE carrier, or in an LTE or WCDMA guard band.


Why flexibility counts...

Every morning, I get out of bed and go to work because I believe technology makes a difference. I believe that in the midst of global growth, numerous humanitarian crises, the increasing need for better resource management, and an evolving threat landscape, a new world is emerging. And I believe technology is playing a key role in making that world a better, safer, and healthier place for more people to enjoy. It feels good to be part of that.

Fundamentally, I believe the breakdown of traditional industry boundaries and increased cross-industry collaboration have enabled us to maximize the benefits of technology. Today, Ericsson works with partners in many different industries that all rely on connectivity embedded into their solutions, services, and products. Our early collaborations, which were with utilities and the automotive industry, have led to innovations like the Connected Vehicle Cloud and Smart Metering as a Service.

  • I am delighted that Harald Ludanek, Head of R&D at Scania (a leading manufacturer of heavy trucks, buses, coaches, and industrial and marine engines) agreed to contribute to this issue. His article on the significance of ICT – how digitalization and mobility will impact the automotive industry and bring about the intelligent transportation system (ITS) – illustrates the importance of new business relationships, ensuring that different sectors create innovative solutions together, and maximize the value they bring to people and society.

    Technology is making it easier for people to protect their homes, families, and belongings. The standardization of antitheft systems in automobiles, for example, has led to a decline in car theft in most parts of the world. However, while technology offers improved security, somehow criminal countermeasures manage to keep up. In an article about end-to-end cryptography, a number of Ericsson experts highlight how car theft is no longer carried out with a slim jim and a screwdriver, but rather with highly sophisticated decryption algorithms, smartphones, and illegal access to software keys.

    The protection of data – and the people who own it – as it travels across the network has always been a cornerstone of the telecoms industry. But in today’s world, no single organization can maintain end-to-end control over information as it is carried from source to destination, and so upholding the right to privacy is becoming an increasingly complex issue. And with quantum computing posing a threat to our current security systems, our experts point out that this will render certain existing methods of protection useless. Not only do protocols need a shake up, so does software – so it can work in lightweight mode for constrained or hardware-limited devices.

    The idea that technology can manage an underground mine efficiently, operate construction machinery from a distance, or carry out a complex surgical procedure on a remote basis, is not far from magical. Imagine a world in which the hazardous work environment is a thing of the past, where manufacturing operations are run smoothly using remotely operated machines and robots, where everyone has access to vital medicalexpertise... This is the stuff of my boyhood science fiction comics. But today, these are the technical innovation challenges my colleagues intend to solve – and in some cases, they already have.

    The article on 5G remote control, which was cowritten with experts from ABB, is yet another example of how collaboration has become embedded in our ways of working, and how different industries can help each other to create more innovative solutions.

    If you were to ask me to pick a few words to summarize this issue of Ericsson Technology Review, I would choose security, new business opportunity, flexibility, SDN, virtualization, and 5G. But, it is flexibility that clearly stands out for me. If networks are going to provide the kind of connectivity that industry needs, flexibility is not only required in the technical solution, but at all other levels too – even in business models and internal processes.

    Flexibility will be achieved in the network through greater abstraction, programmability, and a core built on the concept of network slicing – which is where 5G comes in. As the article on the 5G core shows, a flexible network architecture is needed by service providers and industries that depend on connectivity to develop new solutions. It will enable them to fail fast, and to adapt their networks as quickly as business models change. In his article on the multiband booster for microwave backhaul, Jonas Edstam points out that in a world, capacity needs will no longer represent the main determining factor for network architecture; instead, total cost of ownership will take over, with a more holistic approach to networking.

    As always, I hope you find our stories relevant and inspiring. All of our content is available on here, on the Ericsson Technology Insights app (Google Play and the App Store), and on SlideShare.

    By 2021, over 90% of the world´s population will be covered by mobile broadband networks*

    *Ericsson Mobility Report, November 2015

    “By 2021, over 90% of the world´s population will be covered by mobile broadband networks*”

    *Ericsson Mobility Report, November 2015

Ulf Ewaldsson
  • Ulf Ewaldsson,
  • Senior Vice President
  • Group CTO, and Head of Group Function Technology

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