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Asia sets the pace towards a networked society: Ericsson CTO

Zafar Anjum | Oct. 15, 2014
Asia­Pacific sets pace of change towards the Networked Society with half of world's mobile subscriptions, says Ericsson Chief Technology Officer Ulf Ewaldsson

As many leading mobile phone manufacturers are based in Asia, the continent will play a leading role in shaping mobile technology, said Ericsson Chief Technology Officer Ulf Ewaldsson in Singapore recently.

Because of APAC region's dominance in subscription growth, this region will lead in LTE technology adoption, he added, citing numbers from the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.

"With half of the world's total mobile subscriptions, APAC sets the pace of the change that our industry is facing," said Ewaldsson. "It is obvious why the top five LTE markets belong to this region."

This bodes well for Asia, as there is a direct connection between broadband and GDP growth.

A rapidly changing mobile landscape

According to the report, 65% of world's population will be covered by LTE by 2019, and almost half of all mobile traffic in the networks will be video. By 2019, there will be 9.2 billion mobile subscriptions.  In the next 5 years, more than 50& of traffic will be video. Because of this pressure on bandwidth, spectrum might be more precious than petroleum, said Ewaldsson.

Ewaldsson said that rapid changes are taking place in the industry and the leading telecom companies like Ericsson are already preparing for 5G technology which will be implemented around 2020. "We are now talking exabytes, which is a unit of information equal to 1000 petabytes or 1000 x 1000 terabytes," he said. "By 2019, we expect that consumers in mobile networks will generate about 1 exabyte of voice traffic and almost 20 exabytes of data. In addition, the M2M or machine type communications will add a whole new dimension to data consumption and information exchange in our networks."

Operators are already talking to each other to develop 5G, which will lay the foundations for an efficient society, he added.

Networked Society

In the Networked Society, consumer behaviour and business practices will be digitalized and many industries will transform, delivering services in an interconnected and interoperable way, he said, underlining the emergence of the Internet of Things.

"Cars will be connected and constantly exchange live data to increase safety," he said. "Remote healthcare with a real­time information flow will make it easier for both doctors and patients. This industry transformation will place new demands on the network, but also create more value to the network. The network will become even more relevant."


With mobility, broadband and the cloud as key technology components, the Ericsson CTO predicted that future networks will be one common platform for multiple industries. "With all data hosted in cloud, security, governance and real­time access will be mission­critical in many situations, while cross­domain orchestration and integrated network control will be fundamental for future networks," Ewaldsson explained.

"This is why we invest heavily in technologies like Cloud, Software­Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), as well as security, automation and governance of data in the cloud," he said.



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