Ericsson Technology Review, Issue 1/2017

Delivering value in the digital age

Magazine   |  

The world continues to change at breakneck speed. Regardless of which industry we work in, we must all stay alert to an ever-wider sphere of knowledge and information to make sure we don’t miss the boat on “the nextbig thing”. To that end, this issue of Ericsson Technology Review includes five articles that present a broad range of ideas and solutions that boost capacity, efficiency and security, along with one about the latest technology to help you better understand the needs of your users.

This issue also features a guest article by Stefan Larsson, Associate Professor in technology and social change at Lund University Internet Institute (see page 42). Larsson is an expert on digital socio-legal change, including issues of trust, consumption, traceability and privacy. He points out that while user trust is heavily based on their perception of the technological security of a solution or service, “it is also fundamentally dependent on social norms and values such as privacy, legitimacy and perceived fairness in the collection
and handling of individual information.” He argues persuasively that the long-term success of the digital economy will be dependent on consistently high levels of both technological and sociological trust among users, and explains his view of what service providers must do to preserve them.

Every new generation of mobile technology brings with it fresh hope for true network convergence – the ability to provide both mobile and fixed broadband access via the same technology and the same infrastructure. Today, the hope is that 5G will prove to be the technology that will help us achieve that goal, by enabling both high-speed mobile broadband and fixed wireless access (FWA) on a massive scale. While FWA has previously been proven to work in 4G or even 3G scenarios, the huge capacity improvements in 5G are set to enable a proliferation of FWA solutions for both small and medium-sized enterprise and residential applications around the world. The article on page 50 explores the FWA opportunity for 5G and presents a solid 5G FWA use case, as well as a variety of possible FWA transport solutions. Together with all the benefits it will bring in the areas of mobile broadband and the IoT, its potential to be used as an FWA enabler makes the case for 5G stronger than ever.

No matter how efficient, robust and reliable a network is, the amount of bandwidth available to users is ultimately determined by the length of the last mile – the final segment of the network that physically delivers the service to users. As a result of the massive growth in popularity of bandwidth-consuming online activities in recent years, many service providers are struggling to meet consumers’ ever-expanding bandwidth requirements. While the obvious solution would be to shorten the length of the last mile by deploying new street cabinets and fiber lines, doing so is not always feasible in terms of time and cost. In these cases, access aggregation is a viable alternative. The article on page 66 presents a Multipath tcp-based solution that we believe is the most efficient and effective option for access aggregation. The use of carrier-grade Multipath tcp proxies makes it possible to increase bandwidth,
improve reliability and achieve seamless connectivity without the need to introduce Multipath tcp in end devices or internet servers.

Just a few years ago, encrypted web traffic was the exception rather than the rule, but revelations about pervasive surveillance and an increase in cyber-attacks have prompted many service providers to switch to communication using https to reduce the vulnerability of data carried over networks. As a result, 70 percent of today’s web traffic is encrypted, and https will soon become the default protocol. While the move to https offers benefits in terms of protecting data, it also presents some challenges for operators and content providers – particularly when it comes to caching. The article on page 8 presents a solution that enables optimal placement of cache stores within a network, and traffic management in the ran, minimizing backhaul traffic and reducing latency. As such, the proposed solution provides operators with a new business opportunity in the context of an allencrypted web: to offer content providers optimally-placed caches for secure content delivery.

In the near future, IoT systems will need to support extremely large-scale field applications made up of an enormous diversity of connected things. Since each of these things needs to be identified in multiple domains, a solid understanding of identity management is essential to the development of IoT security solutions that are both flexible and robust. There are currently several ways to manage identities across domains. Finding the optimal one for a particular application depends on the relationship(s) between the domains, the domain-specific identity data, and the systems and technologies available. The article on page 32 presents an overview of the key concepts in identity management, and explains how they can be applied
in the IoT environment to achieve optimal levels of efficiency, usability and security. In particular, it highlights how technologies like Generic Bootstrapping Architecture and specific identity management systems for the IoT can substantially reduce the complexity of identity management.

A deeper understanding of the multifaceted user experience is critical for any service provider to succeed in an increasingly competitive space. Objective QoS, while still important, is no longer enough to satisfy users in the constantly changing digital environment they live in today. For them, high service quality is simply a given. What they’re looking for are artners that can help them navigate and utilize technologies and capabilities in the emerging Internet of Smart Everything as smoothly as possible, providing them with seamless services and intuitive spaces for interaction. Meeting the ever-evolving expectations of today’s users requires a high level of customer experience awareness. The article on page 20 explains the concept of customer experience awareness and demonstrates how next-generation customer experience management analytics tools can be used to generate actionable business insights that enable service providers to continuously improve the user experience.

As always, I hope you find the contents of the magazine relevant and inspiring. All of the articles included here are also available online at www.ericsson.com/ericsson-technology-review, through the Ericsson Technology Insights app and on SlideShare.