Ericsson Year in Review 2023: January to June
Innovation was a recurrent theme throughout 2023 for Ericsson as the company worked across all global markets to maintain technology leadership, boost customer focus and build longer-term strategic strength. Join us for the first of a two-part look back on some of our 2023 news, including collaborative endeavors and technological advancements.
January: Setting the stage
January saw a series of impactful trials and collaborations, setting the stage for a year of innovation. There was Vodafone Oman's achievement of its Voice over New Radio (VoNR) proof of concept call with Ericsson and Spark’s successful completion of a 5G standalone (5G SA) trial alongside Ericsson and Red Hat in New Zealand.
January also witnessed the addition of the new Cradlepoint NetCloud Private Networks solution - tailored to the needs of dynamic enterprise IT environments - to Ericsson Private Networks offerings as a complement to Ericsson Private 5G. The solution addition boosts Ericsson’s position in offering the broadest private network portfolio for enterprises and industries of all sizes and sectors.
Ericsson ConsumerLab's annual 10 Hot Consumer Trends report focused on Life in a Climate-Impacted Future, compiling the views of more than 15,000 global early technology adopters and their anticipated personal technology actions related to climate issues in 2030.
Ericsson rounded off the month by partnering with Batelco, part of the Beyon Group, to successfully deploy Ericsson Customer Acceptance platform, an enterprise blockchain-based solution for the automated collection of acceptance records upon fulfillment of agreed project deliverables.
February: MWC Barcelona in focus
In February, as Barcelona took center stage, a myriad of noteworthy developments and partnerships unfolded within and beyond the confines of the Mobile World Congress (MWC).
Ericsson President and CEO, Börje Ekholm, kicked off MWC 2023 by underscoring the pivotal role of mobile connectivity in global digitalization. He emphasized the democratizing nature of connectivity, with about 8.5 billion subscriptions globally, and highlighted 5G's potential to further drive digitalization and the app economy.
The joint events and demos from Ericsson and Aeris, promising new security features and revenue streams, generated excitement at MWC, garnering interest from major communications service providers like SoftBank, Telenor Connexion, and Telstra.
Meanwhile, Vodafone and Ericsson teamed up to present a joint cloud gaming/eSport demonstration that saw visitors to the stand test their skills at the HADO augmented reality game against teams at Vodafone’s 5G Lab in Madrid over a high performance 5G network.
Venturing beyond MWC while staying within the Spanish landscape, Orange launched Spain's first commercial 5G Standalone (SA) network in collaboration with Ericsson. Not far away, in France, ArcelorMittal France announced the operational launch of 5G Steel, the largest 4G/5G network in the industrial environment, with Orange Business Services and Ericsson. Aimed at decarbonizing the steel industry, it introduces enhanced mobile broadband use cases, from steel recycling management to connected operator functionalities.
Telstra, in collaboration with Ericsson, achieved a world-first with a 100 km long-range 5G data call. Conducted in South Australia, this achievement broadens the benefits of 5G to rural and regional areas, extending the reach of Massive MIMO AAS radios.
Ericsson, along with Intel and Microsoft, demonstrated end-to-end 5G standalone network slicing capabilities on a Windows laptop, thereby extending the applicability of network slicing to devices beyond smartphones.
In new products, Ericsson introduced a range of 10 radios, including the triple-band Radio 4485, along with new mobile transport and software solutions. Innovative additions like the 600 MHz Massive MIMO radio with interference sensing software promise increased capacity.
Ericsson also expanded its indoor mobile connectivity portfolio with three new easy-to-deploy and cost-efficient solutions aimed at delivering 5G coverage, capacity and capabilities across the interior of any work or business environment – regardless of the size or complexity of the building.
February also saw Ericsson being named the overall sustainability leader in a study conducted by ABI Research that evaluated the capabilities of telecom vendors to reduce energy use and waste across the industry.
March: Record-breaking speeds
Faroese Telecom and Ericsson conducted a speed test in a live network showing download peak speeds of up to 6 Gbps, using 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, making it the fastest recorded speed in a live network in Europe.
Meanwhile, Ericsson and MediaTek successfully merged four channels – one FDD (frequency division duplex) and three TDD (time division duplex) – to deliver a downlink speed of 4.36 Gbps. Ericsson in collaboration with Singtel and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. announced the successful achievement of a maximum upload speed of 1.6Gbps on 5G millimetre wave.
In the Middle East, Ericsson and Etisalat by e& demonstrated an uplink data peak rate of 2.1 Gbps on a commercial network in the UAE, utilizing 5G dual connectivity and carrier aggregation software features.
And in Canada, Ericsson announced the establishment of a new Quantum research hub in Montreal as part of its cutting-edge global quantum research agenda. The hub hosts research projects that explore quantum-based algorithms for accelerating processing in telecom networks and distributed quantum computing.
Ericsson and Virgin Media O2 agreed a new multi-million GBP contract to deploy the latest products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Swisscom and Ericsson initiated a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) trial to explore the deployment of Ericsson 5G Core on AWS, highlighting the potential of hybrid cloud as a complement to existing private cloud infrastructure.Top of Form
April: Innovating sustainably
Sustainability took center stage this month as Ericsson introduced two new O-RAN Alliance-based RAN automation applications (rApps), focusing on energy efficiency. The apps support service providers in their intelligent automation journey, addressing the telecom industry's commitment to sustainability.
In the Middle East, Ericsson enhanced remote management for Etisalat Egypt by e&'s network with the implementation of the Smart Connected Site solution. Ericsson also won this year’s Red Dot Product Design Award for two energy-efficient 5G radios.
It was announced that Ericsson's IoT Accelerator and Connected Vehicle Cloud businesses are now part of Aeris Communications, a leading cellular IoT solutions provider.
In a major announcement Ericsson President and CEO, Börje Ekholm was joined by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to unveil investment of more than CAD 470 million in R&D centers focusing on 5G Advanced, 6G, AI, Cloud RAN and Core Network technologies.
Also in April, Ericsson collaborated with Dell Technologies to deliver added resilience and interconnectivity for communications service providers in their Cloud RAN journeys.
Building on its commitment to education, Ericsson partnered with Smart Africa Digital Academy to digitally upskill 100 policy makers and regulators across 19 African countries.
Addressing the evolving needs of the industrial sector, Ericsson announced new hardware and software enhancements to its Private 5G offering, addressing challenges hindering digitalization efforts within the industrial sector. The updates support emerging business-critical applications, reinforcing Ericsson's leadership in driving digital transformation for Industry 4.0.
May: Pushing boundaries
May marked a period of forward-looking initiatives and achievements for Ericsson. In collaboration with MediaTek, Ericsson set a new 5G upload speed record of 440 Mbps in low-band and mid-band spectrum using Uplink Carrier Aggregation.
There was also high praise for Ericsson in the ICT industry with Ericsson securing its leadership position in the Frost Radar™ 5G Network Infrastructure Market 2023 report for the third consecutive year and also celebrating at the FutureNet World telecoms industry awards ceremony in London, where Ericsson won the Network Sustainability Award for its Predictive Cell Energy Management (PCEM) solution.
After more than a decade of laying the groundwork for public safety broadband spectrum and mission-critical communication services in Europe, Ericsson together with leading industry players Crosscall, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and Streamwide demonstrated live how these services can be deployed on a wide scale using Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) Band 68.
In Japan, Ericsson was selected by KDDI as a partner for the first vault 5G base stations to support in deploying manhole-shaped 5G base stations, supplying sub-terrain antennas.
And in the Baltics, Ericsson and Telia joined forces to launch the region’s first enterprise 5G private network at Ericsson’s Supply Site in Tallinn, Estonia. This milestone accelerates the region's digital transformation, fostering innovation and agility in manufacturing facilities.
June: Spotlight on Europe
The Ericsson Mobility Report June edition revealed that 5G subscriptions are estimated to account for about 57 percent of mobile subscriptions in India by the end of 2028, making it the fastest growing 5G region globally. 5G mobile subscriptions are growing in every region and forecast to top 1.5 billion globally by the end of 2023.
Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, expressed enthusiasm for the new EU-US cooperation agreement on emerging technologies covering areas such as artificial intelligence, 6G, online platforms and quantum technology, emphasizing Ericsson's readiness to play a central role the deepening EU-US Trade and Technology Council cooperation.
In response to the continued changing 5G landscape, Ericsson introduced the Ericsson Reduced Capability (RedCap) solution, a groundbreaking reduced capability RAN software set to revolutionize 5G use cases.
Another breakthrough for Ericsson involved a collaboration with Intel and HPE, and the showcasing of the industry's first virtualized RAN solution on 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. And in collaboration with CTIA Certification, Ericsson introduced a Smart Connected Infrastructure certification program tailored for utilities, addressing the growing demand for advanced IoT deployments in the sector.
In a major milestone, Ericsson celebrated the production of the millionth 5G radio in Poland, in partnership Telia. This cutting-edge AIR 3278 radio boasts energy efficiency, a smaller footprint, and increased capacity, marking a significant contribution to the transformation of the Nordic and Baltic regions through the strategic 5G alliance.
Meanwhile, Elisa became the first European service provider to deploy In-Service Software Upgrade capability on a live 5G standalone (SA) network powered by Ericsson. Deutsche Bahn, Ericsson, O2 Telefónica, and Vantage Towers revealed they were joining forces to develop a 5G mobile communications infrastructure along train tracks in Germany.
Ericsson joined other key industry players in this year’s European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC) interoperability testing event involving network technologies that will bolster the efficiency, flexibility, and scalability of modern transport networks.
Part two of Ericsson's Year in Review 2023 - July to December - will follow before the end of the year.