Start-ups can revolutionize their future with 5G
5G will enable a new wave of innovation in services and application for companies both large and small. But how to make sure that startups and other small companies are able to take advantage of 5G opportunities? Recently we brought Ericsson experts together with the startup community in Stockholm to discuss future technology and its application.
At this after work meetup, which we organized together with THINGS Stockholm, we met some 50 representatives from 20 different companies. In the form of a fireside chat, the topics discussed were “How is 5G different from previous generations – 3G & 4G?” and “In what ways can smaller companies engage with Ericsson.” We were really happy that the audience joined the discussions from the start of the sessions, showing the engagement they had with the topics.
This discussions continued during the second part of the workshop, in which the floor was open for more informal discussion. Here, we got the opportunity to really learn about the new ideas coming from the startup community and how 5G can support them. Some topics were maybe to be expected, like machine learning, which is on the top of many people’s minds today.
But other ideas came up that don’t make headlines so often, even though products and services based on them could be in your home tomorrow. For example, how about connected furniture? Or 5G guitars? These discussions gave us great food for thought about new use cases and 5G applications.
How is 5G different from 3G and 4G?
Everyone expects the performance of 5G will be dramatically better, and that is a given. But where 3G & 4G were basically better mobile broadband systems, 5G will also be a platform for advanced services like remote surgery, autonomous vehicles and smart connected cities. These new services will need more capable networking, and this is provided by 5G, along with distributed cloud capabilities at the network edge. Software-defined networking and a cloud-based software environment give 5G platforms the flexibility to support a wide variety of use cases.
This is where small companies can take great advantage of 5G – they are able to create services and applications fully integrated with the network, and then deploy them rapidly in a virtualized environment. In our vision, 5G is an innovation platform for services, applications, and connected devices.
How can small companies engage with Ericsson?
At Ericsson, we have Ericsson ONE, which is where we turn technology innovation projects into business. We do it at scale, we do it with speed and we do it every day. Now we want to share this capacity with the passionate and innovative start-ups of the world. No matter which stage your start-up is in, Ericsson can make a difference. Finding your first customer, building and evolving your technology, or supporting you in scaling your idea globally – we want to work with you.
Our Ericsson ONE business incubator program is a pragmatic and action-oriented program that focuses on getting things done. We co-create and expose your ideas to the market. We believe in hands-on learning by doing, to help you build fast and pivot faster. Therefore we have established a streamlined startup incubator program with clear goals and milestones for the startups that are selected. If you have the drive, we offer:
- Tailored coaching program with access to 180 markets
- Ericsson as your first customer
- Joint workshops and seminars to boost your skills and grow your network
- Facilitate access to some of the world's leading operators, business development support and connections to real customer cases
- We offer the opportunity for global testing and experimentation, access to expertise and deep insights in technological areas like 5G and IoT
- Connect you to our ecosystem of investor relations, academia, industries, and other start-ups – working together to find that magical market fit that makes your business scale globally.
For inspiration, have a look at one of our past projects: HypeLabs
You can send in proposals directly to us.
We also want to bring state-of-the-art academic research into real-life applications and products. One example of such efforts is the Kista 5G Transport Lab (a.k.a. K5), where Ericsson works with KTH and Acreo to solve concrete pains point in today’s networks. With funding from Vinnova and Ericsson, the project has also worked with several SMEs & startups on technology challenges where new research concepts can make an immediate impact on products and solutions.
As a first step towards concrete engagements, events like this are important, creating a space where start-ups, industry experts and researchers can meet, discuss ideas and technology opportunities, and learn from each other. When we learn about new ideas early and understand better what they would need from a 5G platform, I think we can make significant impact together. Both for a first step of an initial demo, and longer term for a successful product.