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Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm: This is how we can capture the full value of 5G

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  • High-performance, programmable networks enable service providers to maximize the benefits of 5G in an evolving mobile-first world.
  • Find out how unlocking 5G’s innovation power can help the global developer community to support cloud- and AI-powered digital transformation.

President & CEO of Ericsson


President & CEO of Ericsson

President & CEO of Ericsson

At Ericsson we are redefining not just our own business but our entire industry.

Over the next 5 to 10 years, we will see an acceleration of major trends, such as energy transition, resilient supply chains, Net Zero emissions and industrial automation. These developments will be supported by a mobile-first world, in combination with cloud and artificial intelligence (AI).

To fully take advantage of a mobile-first world, we need to work together to build high-performing, programmable and fully automated networks globally, revolutionizing how people can access and consume network capabilities. At Ericsson we are leading this development and also paving the way for how our customers can lead and win in an open world.

Why open and cloud-native networks are so important

As the industry starts to move away from vertically integrated networks, we are transforming how we build networks. At our MWC pre-briefing in London, we announced significant enhancements to our radio portfolio, including 12 new hardware and software solutions to deploy high-performing, sustainable, and open networks.

With an enhanced radio line-up that is Open RAN ready, our customers can now choose the architecture that fits their needs specifically as they journey towards cloudification. Based on our customers’ starting point, we are ready to support their network evolution through our broad portfolio. In fact, we have already delivered about one million radios in the field that are enabled for an open standard.

This ongoing shift to a horizontal network architecture from the traditional vertical architecture will allow our customers to prioritize investments in different parts of the network, at different times. In addition, they can also lower their total cost of ownership by leveraging automation and AI while simultaneously discovering new avenues to monetize the networks.

At the end of 2023, we signed a historic five-year, USD 14 billion deal with AT&T to modernize and transform their network into a high-performance, programmable and open network—driving a strategic shift in the industry. It was a vote of confidence in our technology leadership and demonstrates how open networks will become more central to the industry.

Learn more in this video interview with Chris Sambar, Executive Vice President, AT&T Network:

Helping CSPs redefine how they capture value

With high-performance and programmable networks, we have an opportunity to transform the network into a platform for innovation. We are driving this change by making advanced 5G network capabilities available to the global developer community through open network application programming interfaces (APIs).

Network APIs allow application developers to call up specific network resources, such as quality of service, speed, latency and location. Our ambition is to see millions of developers using 5G technologies to experiment, innovate and build killer apps. We want to learn how they use network APIs, and we want the chance to educate them about what is possible with 5G.

Developers are among the most important people to broaden the market for mobile connectivity beyond consumers and create a network effect of innovation and revenue. As they use network APIs, this will attract more users to the network, generating more revenue for CSP’s. This will inspire more CSP’s to make more API’s available, driving even more usage of the network.

This “network effect” is the reason why platform businesses have exponential growth. The value of the whole platform increases with each new CSP, developer or API.

This is one reason why we acquired Vonage. It provides us with platform technology, communications platform as a service and a substantial developer community, serving as the foundation of the Ericsson Global Network Platform.

When we started to talk about network APIs a few years ago, most of the industry didn’t know what we were talking about. Now APIs are front and center in most industry discussions.

Last September, we announced the first commercial partnership with Deutsche Telekom, in which it will offer communication and network APIs to developers and enterprises using Ericsson's platform. This was a giant first step toward our digital future, making it possible for developers and enterprises to get easy access to the network's advanced capabilities and create entirely new use cases.

And more recently, both Verizon and AT&T announced their intention to introduce their own network APIs to the Vonage platform and collaborate on developing new network APIs for developers globally. Vonage has also announced a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to accelerate the availability of new solutions to millions of AWS developers through AWS Marketplace, including a fraud protection solution.

It is time for total digital reinvention

Mobile World Congress is a great opportunity for us to showcase our solutions and thought leadership. Historically, we have only been focused on mobile operators. With our new portfolio, and in line with our strategy, we are broadening our focus.

The stakes are high for the entire ICT industry as early movers will create the jobs of the future while latecomers will fall behind. Developers will be key to this development. They are going to drive innovation in ways we haven’t seen before. But in order for that to happen they need access to the high-performance capabilities that 5G provides.

At Ericsson, we are leading the drive towards an open world and changing how networks are deployed, operated, monetized and consumed. We are creating a new market for network APIs and extending the use of cellular connectivity. And it all builds on our industry-leading technology and knowledge of mobile networks.

The digital future will happen—it's just a matter of when and where it manifests first. Let’s shape our future together!

Don’t miss your chance to dive deeper into 5G at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Join us to learn more about:

  • Leveraging a network platform with APIs for millions of application developers
  • Developing open, programmable and intelligent networks of the future
  • Bridging the physical and digital realms in the immersive era of 6G
  • Making 5G for enterprise secure and available everywhere

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