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Digitalization in the countryside – capitalizing on cellular IoT and AI

Matilda Gennvi-Gustafsson at Tedx event in Arjeplog Sweden

I.C.E. – Inspiration, Creativity and Entrepreneurship – was the theme of the TEDx event that was held in the northern community of Arjeplog, Sweden, in December. The event had a special focus on digitalization of the countryside and I was happy to participate as a representative of Ericsson and share my thoughts on this critical topic.

In my TEDx talk, I explained the important role that cellular Internet of Things (cellular IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) can play in achieving truly inclusive digitalization that meets the needs of both city dwellers and people who live in the countryside. I also shared my personal reflections on the role of technology in rural and industrial environments, based on my experiences as the daughter of farmers and a former production manager.

Cellular IoT

According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, the number of cellular IoT connections around the world is expected to reach 4.1 billion in 2024 – increasing with an annual growth rate of 27 percent. This growth will have a profound impact on both urban and rural areas.

One key aspect of our cellular IoT vision at Ericsson is enhanced functionalities for Massive IoT. The NB-IoT Extended Cell Range 100km is just one example. It stretches the standards-based limit from around 40km to 100km through software updates without changes to existing NB-IoT devices, which opens huge opportunities in IoT connectivity in rural and remote areas, particularly for logistics, agriculture and environment monitoring. Working together with Telstra and DISH, we have deployed NB-IoT data connections up to 100km so far.

Leveraging AI "with a purpose"

By combining AI with cellular IoT it is possible to gather large amounts of data with ease and use it to generate insights that can be used to improve processes and practices in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, agriculture and forestry. However, as I explain in my TEDx talk, in each case where AI is to be applied it is vital to first clearly set the intention of what you want to use AI for, to ensure that you get insights "with a purpose".

To learn more about the impact that cellular IoT is expected to have in the years ahead, check out the IoT Connections Outlook section of the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. And don't forget to watch my TEDx talk, if you haven't already!

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