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Openness and innovation

Driving openness for ecosystem innovation

Ericsson is a key driver of openness in mobile networks. We have seen the value of openness through all mobile generations. With 4G, openness paved the way for the arrival of disruptive internet companies and the emergence of a new app ecosystem. With 5G, we expect the impact to be even greater, moving technology boundaries to create the biggest innovation platform ever.

What is an open 5G platform for innovation?

Driving openness in 5G and beyond to foster both new application development and business, is critically important.  With 5G we have created a powerful innovation platform that can be used to meet the communication needs of virtually any sector of industry or society.  It has been specified with open APIs and network slicing, allowing new services and applications to be developed for a range of new use cases and business opportunities.

The Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform exemplifies our continued drive to bring openness and innovation to the industry. It delivers service management and orchestration functionalities in line with the Open RAN principles, taking automation forward with support for diverse vendors and multiple radio access network technologies.

The platform goes beyond with an easy-to-use, open software development kit (SDK) that empowers developers with all the capabilities needed to build new rApps, bringing more innovation and choice to CSP’s.


Powering open innovation in radio networks

The Ericsson Automation Platform Software Developer Kit (SDK) empowers developers with all the capabilities needed to build new applications.  

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An ecosystem of standards

Central to the openness in 5G networks is its horizontal architecture that uses cloud and virtualization technologies, allowing for a separation of hardware and software based on open industry standards and open source. Driven by Ericsson from the inception of 5G, the architecture has gained widespread industry support from telecom and cloud players, forming the basis for the evolution of both 5G core and 5G radio networks.

Our approach to openness involves coordinated efforts across standardization bodies, open-source projects, alliances, and partnerships. On top of our work with 5G in 3GPP, we are an active contributing member of the IEEE, IETF, ONAP, O-RAN Alliance, and more – all of which aim to achieve global scale with a strong ecosystem, boost innovation, and help customers differentiate.

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The role of the 3GPP

3GPP is a large, open, and established ecosystem with standardized interfaces; anyone can enter on fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

Today, 3GPP has specified more than 100 interfaces. Much of the work carried out within 3GPP is designed to ensure these interfaces align with the latest technology developments in an open contribution-driven process. As a result, there is a great diversity of companies, providing a range of products for every area of the network – from user devices to RAN, to core, transport, and applications. The incredible success of the 3GPP vision is evident every time we use our devices - to make video calls, check the weather, map out our driving routes, and so on.

In combination with 3GPP, we are actively contributing to O-RAN and all its specifications, focusing our efforts on open multi-domain orchestration and virtualization as a foundation for openness.

Over time, we believe that the performance-cost ratio of the O-RAN specification and off-the-shelf hardware could improve to make O-RAN, including low-layer split (LLS), an attractive complement to the existing high-performing, energy-efficient networks, thereby stimulating further innovation.

We are committed and working with all relevant parties across the industry to innovate on a global scale for the benefit of the entire industry.


The roles of patents and licensing

Ericsson is the architect of modern communications, and we have led the development of one global wireless network for everyone and everything to use. Thanks to our early and heavy investment in R&D, Ericsson has the world’s leading patent portfolio in cellular with more than 57,000 granted patents.

Mobile innovation accelerates progress, but only when the best ideas are accessible to all. We are committed to making our inventions available to all through licensing of our patent portfolio on reasonable terms, enabling further innovation and a connected world that benefits everyone.

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Discover a world of new possibilities

Ready to create the future?

Imagine a world where limitless connectivity means limitless possibility. By creating connections that make the unimaginable possible, we are helping to shape an exciting and positive future. A world where limitless connectivity improves lives, redefines business and pioneers a sustainable future.

We invite you to explore the potential and power of limitless connectivity and what it means for our future world.

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Key components


As a world leader in groundbreaking innovations and their subsequent implementation as global standards, Ericsson has become a trusted partner and recognized leader within 3GPP and other major standardization organizations.

Learn about Ericsson’s approach to standardization

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Open-Source Networking

Ericsson is one of the leading promoters and supporters of the open source ecosystem accelerating the adoption and industry alignment in a number of key technology areas including automation, orchestration, edge compute, NFVI, NFV, AI/ML, containers, and microservices to benefit customers and partners.

Learn about Ericsson's approach to open-source networking.

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Network exposure

The use case and application innovation within 5G, IoT, XR, Industry 4.0, and the automotive sector will happen in ecosystems. For communications service providers to be a part of and increase their value, exposure to easy-to-use network data and resources is key.

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Industrial collaboration

Accelerating and proofing innovation on top of the 5G network platform, co-creating across the eco-system.

5G-connected innovation centers including D-15 lab in Silicon Valley and industry 4.0 center of excellence in Europe, where we push the boundaries of innovation by co-creating, designing, and testing consumer and industry solutions in a real 5G environment.

Highlights on openness and innovation

Generating business value in an open world

Ericsson supports customers in identifying new opportunities early and capitalizing on them as quickly as possible. Our CTO, Erik Ekudden, takes a more in-depth look at why openness in mobile networks is important and how it works

Exponential capability growth. Exponential potential

Network capabilities have grown exponentially for decades and have enabled digital voice in 2G, mobile data in 3G and the app economy in 4G. Now with 5G unleashing exponential technologies such as AR/VR, AI and IoT, expect capabilities to advance as never before.

Open RAN

Ericsson believes in the value of openness in mobile networks, and as an active participant in the O-RAN Alliance, working together with service providers and network suppliers to create the right foundations for openness, innovation, and flexibility in radio access networks.

Learn more about Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform

Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform is an open service management and orchestration product that will help communications service providers optimize network performance, enable operational efficiency and deliver enhanced customer experience

Innovating together with open standards

Innovation, R&D, and investments to achieve seamless global connectivity are all fueled by a balanced framework for standardization.

Tech community must drop silos to unlock 5G innovation

Find out what’s happening behind the scenes at California’s most advanced 5G testbed and hear why our CTO, Erik Ekudden,  believes an open innovation ecosystem is the key to unlocking tomorrow’s killer apps.

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Press releases and news

Read our latest news and press releases on innovation