How Ericsson’s landmark 5G foundation patent application established standards for generations to come

In 2016, Ericsson filed the landmark 5G foundation patent application — the culmination of five years of research from 130 inventors working at the cutting-edge of 5G technology.

Beyond this being the largest application in terms of inventors in the cellular industry, it also opened up new avenues for groundbreaking innovations made possible by the foundation application.

We’re already witnessing some of these previously unimaginable technologies become reality — self-driving cars, entire augmented reality ecosystems, VR and AI assistants, and completely automated factory floors, just to name a few — and as 5G becomes more ingrained and standardized into our daily lives, users can expect to see developments that continue to surpass expectations.

“[The architecture] contains the complete wireless network including the network nodes, the overall network architecture, the devices,” said Dr. Stefan Parkvall, Principal Researcher at Ericsson. “It’s applicable to 5G networks, but you can also use it for other communication systems beyond 5G.”

While 2G, 3G, and 4G technological innovations have mainly focused on enhancing the consumer experience, 5G — and even the eventual evolution beyond that — will likely completely transform our everyday lives and businesses.

This means that we’ll be seeing an entire ecosystem flourish: remote controlled robots, haptic feedback-enabled drones, stable high-speed wireless connections on ocean liners, across highways, and densely-packed cities. The 5G architecture also creates opportunities across the industry: for semiconductor vendors, IT-infrastructure providers, open source communities, and numerous other industry players.

All of this is only made possible from the work of those aforementioned 130 inventors who contributed their time, expertise, and effort to establishing the foundational technology able to support a complete 5G ecosystem. When 5G standardization is supported through fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) patent licensing terms, it enables us to re-invest in the future of cellular communications, and develop the technologies that will impact all future evolutions of the mobile ecosystem.