Category Archives: Ericsson

Machine Vision 5G use case demonstrated by Ericsson and Vodafone

Engine manufactoringEricsson and Vodafone have successfully demonstrated another 5G Proof of Concept, this time focusing on Machine Vision (MV) application, reports

The team created a 5G Smart Network Edge prototype including a 5G ready core and demonstrated the benefits of network slicing and distributed cloud technology for MV. Making the announcement at the Innovation Days at Ericsson’s R&D Center in Aachen, the team demonstrated how the 5G Smart Network Edge enables much greater efficiency for industry. Due to reduced network latencies the recognition rate of a cloud-based face detection application was increased. The PoC also confirmed data could be stored locally, decreasing the risk of breaches, loss or unauthorized access.

“Within only 3 months we created a 5G Smart Network Edge prototype by connecting our labs,” Sonja Graf, Head of Vodafone Innovation Park at Vodafone Germany. “The Face Recognition use case is just one example demonstrating how 5G will meet the diverse needs of a wide range of industries.”

While MV is not a new concept for the industry, it is becoming increasing commonplace for quality assurance, inspection and industrial robot guidance processes in the manufacturing industry. Examples of MV include wood quality inspection, robot guidance and checking orientation of components and reading of serial numbers. Actions of the back of the inspection can be automated, opening up the door for artificial intelligence in the manufacturing industry.

“We are delighted that the Ericsson and Vodafone labs have come together to innovate and this first use case shows an excellent example of how 5G can enable industries to become more efficient as well as more secure and cost effective,” said Valter D’Avino, Head of Ericsson Western & Central Europe.

Ericsson claims a world first with transcontinental 5G trial

Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom have announced a partnership to deploy world’s first transcontinental 5G trial network, reports

The objective of the agreement will be to provide optimized end-user experiences by providing consistent quality of services and roaming experiences for advanced 5G use cases with enhanced global reach. Ericsson will act as the sole supplier to the project, which will include technologies such as NFV, software defined infrastructure, distributed cloud, and network slicing.

Last October, Ericsson and SK Telecom conducted a successful demonstration of network slicing technology, which featured the creation of virtual network slices optimized for services including super multi-view and augmented reality/virtual reality, Internet of Things offerings and enterprise solutions.

“5G is very different from its predecessors in that the system is built as a platform to provide tailored services optimized for individual customer’s needs, at a global scale,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO at SK Telecom. “Through this three-party collaboration, we will be able to better understand and build a 5G system that can provide consistent and enhanced user experience across the globe.”

Alongside the announcement, Ericsson and SK Telecom also successfully completed a demonstration of 5G software-defined telecommunications infrastructure, using the vendors Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000 solution. The pair claims this is a world-first and will enable dynamic composition of network components to meet scale requirements of 5G services.

Software-defined telecommunications infrastructure is one of the enablers of network slicing, which will allow operators to create individual virtualized environments which are optimized for specific users. The demonstration itself focused on two use cases; ultra-micro-network end-to-end (E2E) slicing for personalized services, and ultra-large-network E2E slicing for high-capacity processing.

“SDTI is an innovative technology that enhances network efficiency by flexibly constructing hardware components to satisfy the infrastructure performance requirements of diverse 5G services,” said Park Jin-hyo, Head of Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom.

Finally, Ericsson has announced another partnership with Japanese telco KDDI with the ambition of delivering IoT on a global scale and providing enhanced connectivity services to KDDI customers.

The partnership will focus on Ericsson’s cloud-based IoT platform to deliver services such as IoT connectivity management, subscription management, network connectivity administration and flexible billing services. The pair claims the new proposition will enable KDDI’s customers to deploy, manage and scale IoT connected devices and applications globally.

IoT represents a significant opportunity for enterprise customers and operators alike, as it significantly increases the amount of data available and also access points to customers worldwide. Research firm Statista estimates the number of devices worldwide could exceed 50 billion, though the definition of what a connected device is or what an IoT connected device is varies.

“KDDI has for a long time been committed to building the communication environment to connect with world operators in order to support the global businesses of our customers,” said Keiichi Mori, GM of KDDI’s IoT Business Development Division. “We believe that by adopting DCP, we will be able to leverage Ericsson’s connection with world carriers and furthermore promote our unified service deployment globally to customers as they start worldwide IoT deployments.”

44% of consumers have issues with wearables functionality

Iot isometric flowchart design bannerFindings from Ericsson ConsumerLab claim consumer enthusiasm for wearables technology is still growing but vendors are not meeting price or functionality expectations, reports

The research focused on opinions from 5,000 smartphone users from Brazil, China, South Korea, the UK and the US, though it’s worth noting 50% of respondents were current owners of wearables technology, a much higher proportion of the general public. While the statistics demonstrated there is still an appetite for wearable technologies outside of fitness applications, price of entry could be a barrier for entry, as well as customer expectations on functionality generally exceeding what vendors are currently able to offer.

32% of respondents said they would be interested or willing to buy a Panic/SOS button, and 25% said the same for an identity authentication device. Smart Watches were still of interest to the industry as 28% said they would have an interest in purchasing such as a device, but this statistic contradicts recent reports the segment has been declining. Strategy Analytics forecasted a 12% decline in Apple watch sales this year after a strong launch. A third of non-users have stated the cost of keeping digital devices connected is a key reason why they haven’t invested in wearable technology to date.

While the SA report could indicate a slight hiccup in the adoption of wearables, this is also backed up to a degree by the Ericsson report which states 10% of wearable users abandoned the technology. This is mainly due to the capabilities which are on offer. A common cause of dissatisfaction is customers feel tethered to their smartphone, as the wearable device does not have standalone features. This could also be tied into the overall value/price proposition of the devices as could be seen as a product of convenience as opposed to a smartphone replacement.

In terms of the reasoning for abandoning wearables, over half of respondents said the devices did not meet expectations. 21% highlighted limited functionality and uses, 23% stated the fact the device was not standalone or didn’t have inbuilt connectivity was the reason, where as 9% said inaccurate data and information. Despite the concerns over functionality, 83% of respondents said they expect wearables to have some form of standalone connectivity in the near future. Should this be the case, 43% believe wearables will ultimately replace smartphones.

“Although consumers show greatest interest in devices related to safety, we also see openness to wearable technology further away from today’s generation,” said Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Consumer Insight Expert, Ericsson ConsumerLab. “In five years’ time, walking around with an ingestible sensor, which tracks your body temperature and adjusts the thermostat setting automatically once you arrive home, may be a reality.” Other use cases included a smart water purifier, gesture communicator, virtual reality sports attire, emotion sensing tattoos and a wearable camera.

The survey does demonstrate long-term viability for wearable technology, though there would have to be increased functionality before it could be considered mainstream. It would appear standalone connectivity would be the bare minimum required, as the currently offering seemingly does not offer the value to customers should they have to continue to carry a smartphone as well as the wearable device.

Ericsson restructures to prioritize cloud market segments

Ericsson is boosting its OSS/BSS activities in LATAM

Swedish networking giant Ericsson accompanied its Q1 2016 numbers with a new company structure and a reshuffle of the executive leadership team, writes

The top-line numbers were pretty much flat year-on-year, as you can see from the table below, with a strong quarter for IPR and licensing revenue offset by a weak macroeconomic environment in emerging markets. spoke to Ericsson CFO Jan Frykhammar to get the inside view.

“Our quarter had its challenges and strengths as always,” he said. “We have a weak macroeconomic environment in some parts of the world, mainly emerging markets. While this is nothing strange after many quarters, even years, of challenges on the macro side, driven by things like oil price and other factors, it’s tough for many of our customers to keep up their investment levels. And then we have lower mobile broadband activity in Europe at the back end of this quarter, including one big customer project that has been completed.

“So we focus on doing everything we can to take care of the things we can control. We continue to deliver on the cost and efficiency programme and we are adding additional measures related to lower volumes. So we’re adapting the company to a challenging environment.”

The restructure essentially splits the company more clearly into its core, legacy, networks business and the areas it has been openly targeting for growth, as follows:

  • Business Unit (BU) Network Products, headed by Arun Bansal
  • BU Network Services, headed by Fredrik Jejdling
  • BU IT & Cloud Products, headed by Anders Lindblad
  • BU IT & Cloud Services, headed by Jean-Philippe Poirault
  • BU Media with central go-to-market model, headed by Per Borgklint
  • Customer Group Industry & Society with central go-to-market model, headed by Charlotta Sund

As you can see both the legacy networks and higher growth cloud segments are sub-divided into products and services, while media seems to be semi-autonomous. The industry and society group is more of a formal sales channel to make Ericson better at targeting industries outside of its core markets, especially utilities, transport and public safety.

“The purpose of this new set-up is to get enough focus, dedicated people and accountability to drive both sales in growth areas and at the same time make sure we remain focused on our core customers,” said Frykhammar. “This business unit structure will also help the market to better follow our progress in these areas. We’ve been talking a lot about targeted areas and now the investment buckets will fall wholly into these new business units.”

The changes to the executive leadership team seem to amount to a refresh, rather than a major overhaul. “The last time we had a major global reorganisation of the company was in 2010 and our industry has undergone a lot of change in that time,” said Frykhammar. “We think this is a good opportunity to bring some new people into the leadership team.”

Frykhammar was keen to stress the ongoing challenges in the broader macroeconomic environment and that Ericsson is acutely aware of them. For a while Ericsson’s quarterlies have been about trying to create a narrative around an essentially flat growth story and the company will be hoping to be able to focus attention on solid growth numbers in the from the cloud and media business when it starts reporting along those lines in Q1 2017.

AT&T, Ericsson and Apcera demonstrate NFV in a PaaS environment

Voice and video can work in the most complicated clouds, according to an integration breakthrough demonstrated at the OpenStack summit in Tokyo.

AT&T and Ericsson claim they’ve created an improvement to container technology that makes cloud telco platforms far more secure and yet easier to set up. They jointly presented their invention in proof of concept exercise, along with cloud service provider Apcera.

Container technology, previously used for creating secure environments for text based office and enterprise productivity applications, has been tweaked in order to overcome some of its security limitations, when telecoms is handled in the cloud.

Telco AT&T, equipment maker Ericsson and cloud service provider Apcera described how they came together in order to bring their own perspectives of the multiple levels of the OpenStack hierarchy. The joint problem they faced is that the virtualization of telecoms still has some teething problems that need to be resolved, such as the interaction of various web browsers and video and audio services.

The companies demonstrated how they have tweaked container technology to create a containerised policy driven PaaS that can use the telecoms related Virtualized Network Function (VNF). The resulting telecoms-charged ‘advanced container’ was able to house a Web Communication Gateway (vWCG) that fully integrated with OpenStack.

The proof of concept exercise showed audio and video communications actually worked between multiple Web browsers on the virtualized telephony system.

Never mind the complexity of what’s happening across the comms stack and the cloud, the main thing to take home is that this system works with a few clicks of a mouse, said Magnus Arildsson, Head of IaaS and PaaS at Ericsson. “This is an important step toward fast, secure and policy-integrated deployment of Telco VNFs on micro-services-based containers,” he said.

Ericsson and Apcera accelerated the development of the micro-services-based PaaS environment, said Derek Collison, CEO of Apcera. “This exercise paves the way for cost-effective, efficient deployments and further collaboration with telco operators to integrate carrier-grade requirements with our cloud platform.”

Intel, Ericsson bet $100m on Mirantis and OpenStack

OpenStack vendor Mirantis is raking in buy-in from investors

OpenStack vendor Mirantis is raking in buy-in from investors

Pure play OpenStack vendor Mirantis has secured $100m in new funding this week in a round led by Intel Capital, with the companies also announcing deepened collaboration in the cloud arena.

The latest round, which comes less than a year after Mirantis secured $100m in series B funds from investors, also included participation from new investor Goldman Sachs and existing investors August Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson, Sapphire Ventures (formerly SAP Ventures) and WestSummit Capital.

Mirantis said the cash will be used to bolster its partnerships with vendors and other organisations innovating with OpenStack.

“With Intel as our partner, we’ll show the world that open design, open development and open licensing is the future of cloud infrastructure software. Mirantis’ goal is to make OpenStack the best way to deliver cloud software, surpassing any proprietary solutions,” said Alex Freedland, co-founder and president of Mirantis.

“Every industry is being disrupted by software. Smart enterprises are embracing the cloud to grow top line revenues and get new services to market faster. Mirantis is the only vendor 100 per cent committed to only OpenStack,” Freedland said.

At the same time, Intel and Mirantis announced the two companies would deepen their partnership and work together on Intel’s Clouds for All initiative, a series of partnerships with ISVs announced earlier this summer which are intended to accelerate cloud interoperability and boost deployments.

“Our investment in Mirantis is the next step in bringing open cloud infrastructure to the entire industry as part of Intel’s ‘Cloud for All’ initiative,” said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager, Data Center Group, Intel.

“As enterprises embrace public, private and hybrid cloud strategies, they need choices in their infrastructure software. OpenStack is an ideal open solution for cloud-native applications and services, and our collaboration with Mirantis is well placed to ensure the delivery of critical new enterprise features helping to create of tens of thousands of clouds,” Bryant said.

Ericsson strikes global IoT partnership with SK Holdings

Ericsson and SK Holdings are partnering on IoT

Ericsson and SK Holdings are partnering on IoT

Swedish networking company Ericsson has announced the establishment of a collaboration partnership with Korean tech conglomerate SK Holdings to develop a global ICT ecosystem that will support Ericsson’s IoT platform, reports

SK Holdings is the owner of one of Korea’s major operators – SK Telecom – but also has interests a number of other areas of ICT. “Drawing from our strength in ICT services and solutions, we will enhance ICT competitiveness and strengthen our presence in global markets by forging partnerships with leading global companies in the areas of IoT, cloud networks and Big Data,” said Park Jung-ho, CEO of SK Holdings. “We will create a strong collaborative ecosystem with global ICT and solution companies for our global target markets and target industries.”

“Our IoT platform has opened up great opportunities for businesses across industries,” said Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg. “We look forward to working together with SK Holdings C&C to build a strong ICT ecosystem to realize and capture the benefits of the Networked Society.”

The actual announcement concerned the signing of an ‘extensive memorandum of understanding’ on 12 August. It committed the two companies to jointly develop IoT platforms specialized for certain industries, such as healthcare and transportation. In that sense it seems to be an extension of Ericsson’s recently announced strategy to diversify beyond telecoms. The two companies will also collaborate on other new ICT services, as well as security solutions that encompass both networks and data.

In other IoT partnership news Stream Technologies, which provides the IoT-X platform for managing connected devices, has got together with Link Labs, which specialises in developing LoRa networks, to develop a LoRa IoT platform.

“Link Labs are a perfect partner for deploying LoRa carrier grade LPWA networks,” said Tracy Hopkins, SVP of Low Power Networks for Stream Technologies. “Not only do they support the LoRaWAN open ecosystem and like Stream are active members of the LoRa Alliance, they also have Symphony Link which offers a different feature set for private networks… In this complex ’market of markets’, partnerships that make deployment simple and deliver on the business model are the very key to success.”

“We are very excited to be working with Stream’s IoT-X platform to bridge the gap between Link Labs’ LoRa Symphony Link networks and other IoT and M2M technologies,” said Bryan Eagle, VP of Biz Dev and Marketing at Link Labs. “Having simple, ease of management across multiple networks is a huge benefit for our customers. They deploy different technologies for different applications but want a single platform to manage them and Stream can deliver that.”

Ericsson buys system integrator to shore up IT consultancy services in LATAM

Ericsson is boosting its OSS/BSS activities in LATAM

Ericsson is boosting its OSS/BSS activities in LATAM

Ericsson announced plans to acquire Guatemala-based Icon Americas, a consulting and systems integration firm, for an undisclosed sum. The company said the move would bolster its expertise in telecoms software.

Founded in 1996, Icon Americas specializes in providing application development and maintenance (ADM) services, specifically in the area of billing and charging for telecom operators.

Ericsson said the acquisition, which will see Icon Americas’ 250 employees join the networking giant, will boost its portfolio of consulting services around OSS/BSS solutions in the region.

Sergio Quiroga da Cunha, head of Ericsson in Latin America and Caribbean said: “IT services is an area of strategic importance to Ericsson – not just in Latin America but globally. The acquisition of Icon Americas will improve our ability to provide IT and ADM services to customers in Latin America, thereby strengthening our end-to-end position in OSS/BSS.”

Hugo Cruz, founder and chief executive of Icon Americas said: “We are excited to be joining the Ericsson team as its global scale and presence enable us to apply our expertise to a much wider range of customers.”

Ericsson sets up cloud lab in Germany

Ericsson is boosting R&D in cloud

Ericsson is boosting R&D in cloud

Ericsson has set up a lab that will see it work with operators and enterprises to demo, test and verify cloud-based services. The move comes just two months after the networking vendor set up a similar lab in Italy.

The company said the lab will focus on helping customers develop cloud migration, governance, security and data integrity competencies. It plans to offer access to in-house cloud technology experts as well as its growing portfolio of cloud technology.

”By developing these cloud solutions in cooperation with our customers, we will provide them the opportunity to speed up the deployment of cloud technology,” said Valter D’Avino, Ericsson’s head of Western & Central Europe.

“This means we will more quickly experience the benefits of cloud, such as shorter time to market for new services within Internet of Things for example, and a more agile IT infrastructure.”

The move comes just a couple of months after Ericsson set up a similar lab in Rome, Italy, focused on stimulating development of multi-vendor SDN and NFV solutions that primarily address the needs of telcos.

The recently announced lab is part of a much broader shift into the enterprise ICT world and outside its traditional customer base.

Ericsson details strategic plans beyond telecoms sector

Swedish networking giant Ericsson has made no attempt to hide the fact that it needs to diversify in order to survive and the nature of that diversification just got a bit clearer, explains

In his exclusive interview with late last year CEO Hans Vestberg detailed the five main areas of diversification his company has identified: IP networks, Cloud, OSS/BSS, TV & Media and Industry & Society.Ericsson has spoken freely about the first four but has chosen to keep quiet about its industry & society initiative until it was ready.

That moment has now arrived, so spoke to Nadine Allen (pictured), who heads up Industry & Society for Ericsson in Western and Central Europe. She explained that Ericsson sees a massive opportunity in helping other industries to capitalize on the way the telecoms and IT industries are evolving and converging, with IoT being a prime example.

“The evolved use of ICT is becoming increasingly important to all industries as they address the opportunities and challenges that the networked society will bring,” said Allen. “There is a growing need for ICT connectivity and services in market segments outside the traditional customer base of Ericsson, such as: utilities, transport and public safety.”

Ericsson has identified five key industries to focus on: Automotive, Energy & Utilities, Road & Rail, Safety & Security and Shipping. As you can see these are mainly quite industrial sectors, and this is in keeping with how things like IoT are evolving, with the main commercial applications being of a B2B type.

Ericsson has been a transformation partner to our customers for many decades and supported them in shaping their strategies,” said Allen. “This is a key strength relevant to customers inside and outside the telco space as they develop their connected strategies.

“We are a leading software provider and developer across all areas of the network, including OSS and BSS – these capabilities we see as being key to what will be needed to flexibly support the plethora of future use cases, some of which we can only imagine right now.”

Allen brought our attention to some specific use-cases, illustrated in the slide below. In utilities, for example, things like smart grids and smart metering are already emerging as a way to increase efficiency, while intelligent transport systems are doing the same for that sector.

Ericsson industry & society slide

All of this makes a lot of sense on paper, and Ericsson unquestionably has a lot of tools at its disposal to help industries get smarter, but combining these capabilities into coherent solutions and competing against companies such as the big systems integration and consulting firms will be a challenge. The Ericsson brand is strong in telcos, but not necessarily in transport, and it still needs to establish its consulting credentials beyond its home territory.

To conclude we asked Allen how she sees these underlying trends evolving. We believe the Internet of Things will have a profound impact in the future, enabling anything to be connected and providing ’smartness’ to these connected things will bring value across many sectors,” she said.

“The vision of IoT is a key part of the networked society and in one line I would say it is well described by ‘where everything that can benefit from being connected will be connected’. For example in a world of connected things, value will shift from the physical properties of a product to the services that it provides.”