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Ericsson Technology Review 2020 issue 2

The key role that connectivity plays in our daily lives has never been more obvious – not only for each of us as individuals but also for countless enterprises around the globe. Thankfully, despite the sudden, dramatic changes in our behavior in early 2020, networks all around the world have proven to be highly resilient.

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September 30, 2020

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Ericsson CTO Erik Ekudden’s view on the key role of connectivity

The key role that connectivity plays in our daily lives has never been more obvious – not only for each of us as individuals but also for countless enterprises around the globe. Thankfully, despite the sudden, dramatic changes in our behavior in early 2020, networks all around the world have proven to be highly resilient.

At Ericsson, we’re committed to ensuring that the network platform continues to improve its ability to meet the full range of societal needs as well as supporting enterprises to stay competitive in the long term. The ability to bridge distances and make it easier to efficiently meet needs in terms of resource utilization, collaboration, competence transfer, status verification, privacy protection, security and safety is of utmost importance. Greater agility and speed will be essential.

My 2020 technology trends article, in this issue of the magazine, explains my view of the ongoing evolution of the network platform in terms of the key needs that are driving its evolution and the emerging capabilities that will meet both those and other needs.

The first three trends all relate to bridging the gap between physical reality and the digital realm – that is, delivering sensory experiences and utilizing digital representations to make the physical world fully programmable. The emerging capabilities that I have highlighted this year are non-limiting connectivity, pervasive network compute fabric, trustworthy infrastructure and cognitive networks. All seven of these trends serve as a cornerstone in the development of a common Ericsson vision of what future networks will provide, and what sort of technology evolution will be required to get there.

This issue of the magazine also includes five additional articles highlighting some of our latest research in the areas of cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G advancements. The cloud computing article is particularly noteworthy, as it explains how we think network operators can best manage the complexity of future cloud deployments and overcome technical challenges.

The first IoT article in this issue explains how critical IoT connectivity can be used to address time-critical needs in areas such as industrial control, mobility automation, remote control and real-time media, while the second one tackles the challenge that today’s universal integrated circuit cards (UICC) present to IoT growth.

With regard to 5G advancements, our BSS article explores how 5G-evolved BSS can help CSPs transform themselves from traditional network developers to service enablers and ultimately service creators.

Another exciting 5G advancement that we present in this issue is integrated access and backhaul (IAB), an innovative concept that shows significant promise in addressing the challenge of wireless backhaul of street sites.

We hope you enjoy this issue of our magazine and we’d be delighted if you share it with your colleagues and business partners.

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Articles in this issue:

5G BSS: Evolving BSS to fit the 5G economy

Managing complex IoT value chains and supporting new business models requires more sophisticated business support systems (BSS) than those that communication service providers have used in the past. 5G-evolved BSS enable smooth collaboration between connectivity providers, service creators, partners, suppliers and others.

Optimizing UICC modules for IoT applications

The ability to deliver low-cost Internet of Things (IoT) devices on a mass scale is at risk of being hampered by the high cost of the universal integrated circuit cards (UICC) currently required to provide connectivity. Until a less costly alternative become available, the IoT requires workarounds that either lower device cost or justify the price of UICCs by leveraging more of their capabilities.

Future network trends: Creating intelligent digital infrastructure

The vision of a fully digitalized, automated and programmable world of connected humans, machines, things and places is well on its way to becoming a reality. In his annual technology trends article, our CTO Erik Ekudden explains the seven technology trends that are most relevant to the network platform’s evolution to become the platform for innovation to meet any societal or industrial need.

The future of cloud computing: highly distributed with heterogeneous hardware

Cloud computing is being shaped by the combination of the growing popularity of distributed solutions and increased reliance on heterogeneous hardware capabilities. As the role of distributed computing in cloud computing continues to expand, network operators, who have large, distributed systems already in place, have a golden opportunity to become major cloud players.

Critical IoT connectivity – ideal for time-critical industrial communications

Critical IoT connectivity is ideal for a wide range of Internet of Things use cases across most industry verticals. Mobile network operators are uniquely positioned to address the time-critical communication needs of individual users, enterprises and public institutions by leveraging their existing assets and new technologies in a systematic fashion.

Integrated access and backhaul – a new type of wireless backhaul in 5G

Integrated access and backhaul (IAB) is an advanced concept in 5G that shows significant promise in addressing the challenge of wireless backhaul of street sites. IAB has several advantages compared with other backhaul technologies, and if used properly, it could become an essential backhaul solution for 5G NR networks.

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