Ericsson at MWC19—it all begins!
There’s no feeling like the beginning of MWC Barcelona. Huge crowds lining up before dawn like at a rock concert or big game, generating the excitement of a kid at Christmas in what’s essentially an amusement park for tech whizzes.
For those of you not in the know, MWC Barcelona (formerly known as Mobile World Congress) is the largest mobile event in the world, bringing together more than 2,400 leading companies and over 100,000 visitors. There are hundreds of booths to visit, but we usually all find ourselves camping out more or less in the Ericsson hall.
There are always the hot topics and demos that you hear about for months before, but, as always, some new things took us by surprise!
What are Ericsson Radio Stripes?
This year, it was Ericsson Radio Stripes, which Ericsson President and CEO Börje Ekholm pulled out of his pocket on stage in front of journalists and analysts. Out of nowhere! It all happened so fast, we were all scourging to get a great photo.
Imagine a base station on adhesive tape. That's how cool Radio Stripes are. Read more in this blog post. Here's the the pic we got:
Speaking of Ekholm, his opening speech really got us feeling fired up for the week. From talking about gender inequality to national security and spectrum in Europe, he was certainly not pulling any punches.
And when he ended with “Together, we are going to change the world”…we were all pumped!
Inspiring words from Ericsson CEO: " We are where the market really matters. We have never been at a more exciting point at our industry.— Ericsson (@ericsson) February 25, 2019
Together, we are going to change the world."
And with that, let #MWC19 begin! pic.twitter.com/xx7cPshekE
Exploring the latest in IoT monetization
Besides all the great demos we have in the hall, we’re host to a lot of interesting seminars. A particularly interesting one today was all about IoT Monetization.
Diana Adams summed it up really well: “Last year at MWC, it was all about exploring IoT strategies. This year, it’s about realizing those strategies.”
You can read more about it at her live blog here.
Taking a holistic approach to security
In his speech, Ekholm also discussed the importance of 5G security.
“With 5G, security is not an add-on, but is built in from the start as part of the standardization process,” he said. “Yet the 5G standard alone is not the full answer to secure use of a 5G network. What will really determine the security of a network will be the security status of products, network design and configuration and operational procedures.”
This holistic approach to security continued in the afternoon in Hall 2 in an Ericsson seminar together with Swisscom. Earlier this month, Swisscom announced it had selected Ericsson Security Manager and is working in partnership with Ericsson to further develop the solution.
5G and IoT will bring billions of new connections – and many new types of companies, governments and other players – into telecom networks. More dynamic networks are obviously a business opportunity. But at the same time, they expand the threat landscape.
Security concerns have expanded from issues like signaling threats, security policy enforcement and security and privacy compliance. Edge computing, network slicing and virtualization add to the security challenges.
"Old security solutions are simply not secure enough for #5G transformation. We need good end-to-end #IoT security solutions. At Ericsson, security is not an afterthought. It is driving everything from technology to solutions. " - Erik Ekudden, #Ericsson CTO. #MWC19 pic.twitter.com/nB8lcmVHxe— Ericsson IoT @ #MWC19 (@EricssonIoT) February 25, 2019
As one example of how security gets complicated, Philippe Vuilleumier, Head of Group Security, Swisscom, talked about how Swisscom works with an large number of banks in Switzerland, for which they manage IT security. This experience is important and is leveraged within telco-grade security.
Ericsson Security Manager helps to automate security controls and shortens the average reaction time to respond to possible breaches. It’s also strong in IoT security analytics, by detecting anomalies. Over at the demo here at MWC Barcelona, the dashboards gave a clear view of the security status and provided alarms if there were signs of anomalies.
If you’re here at the event, go check it out!
We’re working with Swisscom to move away from the static stage of the past to intelligent security management, which will combine interim stages focused on automated security policy configuration and automated threat detection with machine learning and artificial intelligence-based analytics.
We are leading in 5G!
Oh, and there was news too. One of the coolest low-tech things in the hall today was when we physically pasted a "12" on a sign of our named 5G commercial customers:
Our 12th officially named #5G customer was just announced - more than any other vendor in the world! @STC_KSA will launch a mid-band 5G network in Saudi Arabia with @ericsson. Press release: https://t.co/HZfT5L5R6p pic.twitter.com/ebOF0mGDS9— Ericsson Networks @ #MWC19 (@EricssonNetwork) February 25, 2019
At the beginning of this post, we compared MWC with Christmas, but there’s one very big reason that it’s not—or actually, four big reasons. Because unlike the one day of Christmas, MWC is four intense days! So even as we wind down on this day, the excitement doesn’t stop—just pauses until tomorrow.
Until then, hasta la vista!