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5G: Connecting and Accelerating at the Speed of Innovation

With IoT, 5G connectivity, and automation, there’s a future of possibility at our doorstep, and as these technologies become more embedded into our everyday lives, businesses and consumers have the opportunity to access a world of new breakthroughs. We’re already connecting operating rooms across oceans, decreasing automobile accidents, and reducing waste utilizing more efficient communication. The potential benefit to society and value to businesses that 5G can and will bring to the table is, indeed, endless.

“4G’s the workhorse now and will be for many years to come, and it’s continuously upgraded with capabilities that, for example, bring down latency, enhance capacity, and so on — those are things that are coming into the platform,” Erik Ekudden, Ericsson Group CTO recently said during our CTO panel at Mobile World Congress 2018. “There is a roadmap here, a smooth migration from 4G to 5G, so some of these more advanced ecosystem business opportunities will come as a natural consequence: working with IoT opportunities, I think that would be fantastic because then we can show some of these use cases becoming business cases.”

The technology to bring about this new future already exists, because our commitment to R&D has ensured the unlocking of these new technologies for decades. We’ve contributed to countless new discoveries and standards that have aided in connecting people and societies all over the world.

“We try to break down 5g as an evolution,” explained Babak Fouladi, CTIO, MTN Group during the same panel. “We are talking about an evolution through our network, and I think components within the 5G standard and what 5G brings — maybe slicing, maybe latency — those are being brought gradually into our network, thanks to the great Ericsson team we’re already seeing it.”

Ericsson is always looking to the future however, and we know the speed of innovation is only going to increase. That’s why fair standards and non-discriminatory patent licensing must be prioritized. Embedded in Ericsson’s “Quest for Easy” is a commitment to allowing everybody to access the benefits of new advances in technology. After all, existing technology means nothing if other researchers are unable to build off of it, meaning enterprises are unable to adapt and change as operating systems are refined, and standards remain fragmented across the globe.

“That’s what happened in the case of 4G once we started rolling out in India,” explained Abhay Savargaonkar, CTO & Director of Network Services Group, Bharti during the panel. “Today, India is the largest data consuming nation in the world. The basic argument of ‘why do we need to 5G,’ from an India standpoint, is a technical requirement. Given our population density, we have upwards of 4,000 attached customers on a 4G base station. Now it’s practically impossible to handle that level of connectivity and that level of capacity using any kind of a 4G base station that we currently have. These are the drivers which actually puts up a compelling argument for India to take initiative on 5G.”

When policy-makers and our partners share our commitment to developing open, standardized technology, and licensing under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, the entire tech industry benefits. Compensating innovative companies through patent royalties is one of the only ways we can continue re-investing in the future, and allow the entire technology community to work together and build on past breakthroughs.

A future dominated by IoT, 5G connectivity and automation is no longer a question. It’s not a matter of if these technologies will transform our society, but when. We’d rather it be sooner than later and that’s why we’re committed to ensuring fair licensing, patents, and compensation fosters, not hinders, a global culture of innovation.


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