A street scene in Chiwan, China. Photo credit: Ben Mack
In the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, Ericsson estimates that 5G subscriptions are expected to reach 1.9 billion in 2024 – 400 million more than earlier forecasts. This faster-than-expected growth is important for economies across the globe, especially China, where 5G where serve as the backbone for a new digital paradigm.
At the GTI Summit, held in connection with MWC Shanghai 2019, Ericsson’s President and CEO, Börje Ekholm, illustrated how Ericsson is using its insights from early 5G deployments to help industries capture the technology’s vast potential.
“Connectivity will be critical to digitalising the economy, and we see 5G as the necessary backbone of this development. This is a fundamental shift for mobility - from empowering consumers to empowering industries,” Ekholm says.
This is already happening in many parts of the world, including China. For example, Ericsson is cooperating there with China Mobile’s Jiangsu branch and RoboTechnik. As part of an Industry 4.0 project, Ericsson deployed a “hybrid network" solution in a RoboTechnik factory that combined 4G and 5G, private and commercial networks, as well as a central and edge cloud to meet requirements of safety production and management.
5G, together with AI, cloud and edge computing, represent one the most powerful technology platforms ever created. The potential of these technologies builds on a synergy of key components, each powerful in its own rite, but combined will enable a fundamental shift.
“We are standing at a historical moment. The possibilities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are limited only by our imagination, as we work to tackle everything from climate issues to the role of technology in our societies,” says Ekholm.
“Automation is also critical,” he says. “We are developing and deploying AI-based managed services solutions to improve network quality and consumer experiences and have already successfully integrated the first online deployment for AI-based cell issue classification to improve network performance.”
Ericsson recently announced a partnership with KDDI in Japan to implement an AI-based solution that automatically finds optimal radio network parameters in the network. This results in increased spectrum efficiency between bands and improved throughput. In a series of trials conducted in dense urban areas, we improved network throughput for KDDI by nearly 10 percent.
Ericsson has a long history in China – delivering solutions there already in 1894. Since then, the company has contributed to every generation of technology in the Chinese telecommunications industry.
“Time has proven that Ericsson is a trusted partner in China,” says Ekholm. “Ericsson remains committed to China and will continue to support our customers and China’s development with the same courage, faith and vision, just like when we started out our journey here more than 125 years ago.”