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Transforming Enterprise IT with 5G Windows 11 PCs

Available in English 日本語
  • In a significant milestone, SoftBank Corp., T-Mobile, and Telia Sweden have joined forces with industry leaders Ericsson, Microsoft, and Thales to enable 5G Windows 11 PCs with zero touch provisioning and automated eSIM profile switching and  management.
  • Delivered across three continents in a trial with Ericsson Enterprise IT, hybrid working with a secure, always connected 5G laptop experience and automated network switching is realized for the first time.
  • Centralized control of 5G connectivity combined with cloud-based services boosts the potential of 5G to remove on-prem IT infrastructure, unlocking new possibilities for flexible site strategies with improved sustainability.
Feb 28, 2024
Transforming Enterprise IT with 5G Windows 11 PCs

Delivering secure laptop connectivity with a consistent employee experience everywhere is a prerequisite for hybrid working. Whilst our phones safely and automatically connect to 5G, connecting on a laptop can be time consuming due to the limited availability and coverage of secure Wi-Fi networks. Ericsson is rewriting that story with Ericsson Virtual Cellular Network (EVCN), an Ericsson ONE innovation.

EVCN automates eSIM profile management and gives enterprise control of the ordering, downloading and activation of multiple eSIM profiles on 5G Windows 11 PCs. This empowers enterprises to maintain their own virtual cellular network and connect employee’s laptops quickly and securely to different 5G networks. Powered by Windows 11 (OS), capable of eSIM profile selection and automatic network switching, 5G connections are automatically established based on enterprise policies, eliminating the need for end-user involvement. “Enterprises need to provide secure remote access to mobile employees, no matter where they work,” said Ian LeGrow, Microsoft Corporate Vice-President of Core OS Innovation. “In collaborating with Ericsson on EVCN, we are demonstrating Windows 11 Pro devices managed with Microsoft Intune to connect to global 5G networks seamlessly and securely. Network and device provisioning, connectivity optimization, and policy-based management are all enabled through this service. This will deliver a more productive and connected experience across applications, corporate systems, and resources that employees need to drive their work forward.”

By leveraging the performance and coverage of 5G networks, the EVCN solution helps organizations to deliver an ‘always-connected’ experience and increase productivity of the hybrid workforce. Whether working from home, in remote workspaces or travelling abroad, enterprises can be confident that employees will benefit from being automatically connected to the best performing and most suitable 5G network by the simple activation of the right eSIM profile. Magnus Leonhardt, Head of Strategy & Innovation B2B, Telia Sweden, said, “We see an increasing customer need to reduce internal infrastructure complexity. Standardized 5G technology offers unmatched quality of services with holistic connectivity supporting new user working needs at the office, home and on the move.”

Proven in a trial with Ericsson Enterprise IT serving Ericsson employees, 5G laptop connectivity was provided by SoftBank Corp. in Japan, T-Mobile in the United States and Telia in Sweden. Microsoft Intune mobile device manager was used to bulk activate eSIM profile groups with local 5G connectivity provisioned according to the employee demographic and data usage. Automatic network switching between the Telia, T-Mobile and SoftBank networks was successfully demonstrated on employees 5G Windows 11 PCs as they travelled between Stockholm, New York, Seattle, and Tokyo, providing a seamless 5G connected experience. Mats Hultin, CIO and Head of Ericsson Enterprise IT said, “We are in pursuit of IT modernization and evolving into a truly wireless enterprise supporting hybrid working. Ericsson Enterprise IT is dedicated to delivering the absolute best employee experience and our commitment extends beyond mere connectivity – we aim to maximize productivity in a sustainable manner. EVCN represents a strategic cornerstone in orchestrating this transformation from our conventional fixed enterprise connectivity solutions towards a more scalable, global 5G infrastructure in collaboration with operators.”

“It’s imperative for enterprises to not only provide timely and reliable connectivity for their workforce, but also to equip IT leaders with the tools to help safeguard and strengthen those connections,” said Mishka Dehghan, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Product, and Solutions Engineering at T-Mobile Business Group. “5G is the critical currency that makes it easier for companies to do this at scale. And, together, Ericsson and T-Mobile can create a seamless and secure connectivity experience that enhances employee productivity, wherever work takes them.”

The trial was extended to include eSIM management of a private 5G network in Ericsson’s D-15 lab in Santa Clara using the Thales eSIM-as-a-Service (eSaaS). Automatic network switching between private and public 5G networks was also demonstrated on laptops as employees moved outside the coverage of the private network and back on to the public network. "Private network deployments are drastically increasing. Enterprises need a simplified and secure way to connect people and devices to their 4G/5G private networks. In this trial, Thales has demonstrated that its ‘eSIM-as-a-Service' technology facilitates this crucial step, by connecting eSIM-enabled laptops to Ericsson’s 5G private network in a smooth and secure manner. This offer provides enterprises a seamless way to order and configure eSIMs through an intuitive web interface. In just a few clicks, enterprises are connected," said Eva Rudin, Thales Vice President of Mobile Connectivity Solutions.

High performing 5G networks make it possible for Enterprise employees to securely access cloud-based services like Microsoft Teams and Office 365 using 5G connected Windows 11 PCs at the office, at home, as well as on-the-move. EVCN, cloud and 5G combined is reimagining the reality of hybrid working for enterprises, delivering a cost efficient, sustainable IT solution. Ryuji Wakikawa, Vice President and Head of Research Institute of Advanced Technology, SoftBank Corp. said, “Today employees can work from anywhere and will share more company data with AI over networks. SoftBank believes EVCN will modernize our work styles completely by using 5G and will help all enterprises implement AI workflows with enhanced security. SoftBank will continue to collaborate with Ericsson to commercialize new 5G enterprise services using EVCN.”

This trial with Ericsson Enterprise IT is displayed jointly with Microsoft, SoftBank, T-Mobile, Telia and Thales in the Ericsson Hall during MWC Barcelona 2024 from February 26 to February 29.