Ericsson launches ‘first mover’ 5G platform and announces milestone

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Picture credit: Ericsson

Swedish telco giant Ericsson has announced the launch of a new platform aimed at the ‘first movers’ in 5G, incorporating virtual and augmented reality.

The company expects the opportunity for operators on 5G technology to hit $582 billion (£467bn) globally by 2026, or a 34% uptick in revenues, while adding that the manufacturing, energy and utilities sectors have the biggest potential for growth going forward.

The platform comprises the 5G core, radio and transport portfolios, alongside digital support systems, transformation services, and security. Ericsson is also looking to incorporate ‘federated network slices’, meaning operators can provide a global 5G service, as well as distributed cloud, moving workloads closer to access for short latency applications.

Ericsson had earlier this month demonstrated the world’s first intercontinental 5G trial network, alongside SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, at the latter’s research and development centre in Bonn.

“With this launch, we introduce our 5G platform to support the beginning of a huge change in network capabilities, allowing our customers to offer more advanced use cases and new business models to their customers,” said Arun Bansal, Ericsson head of business unit network products in a statement. “It is an important milestone enabling operators to continue their evolution journey to 5G.”

Writing for this publication in November, Marina Kurth, research director at Gartner, questioned whether Ericsson could move away from its more traditional infrastructure roots and arguing the company was going through ‘major turmoil’.

“Technology providers need to provide more than new software-driven technology architectures; the big challenge is to operationalise and monetise new cloud-based technologies like SDN and NFV,” Kurth wrote. “This will require an entire transformation of vertical OSS/BSS stacks, to fully automated, horizontal execution environments.

“The good news for Ericsson is its legacy network and OSS capabilities will be critical, as we will see primarily hybrid [communication service provider] architectures for some time, before CSPs will make the move to fully virtualised infrastructures in the next decade. Ericsson, however, needs to gain credibility and beef up its capabilities in the cloud, data centre and enterprise domains,” Kurth added.

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