Ericsson CTO Erik Ekudden’s view on creating a unified network platform

The often surreal experience of living through a global pandemic has profoundly changed the way that many organizations – and the individuals that comprise them – think about telecommunication networks. There is now a widespread, shared understanding of the critical role that networks play in almost every aspect of business and society. The desire for greater digitalization to enhance social, economic and environmental outcomes for the benefit of all has never been stronger.

In light of this, it’s no surprise that expectations about future critical network capabilities and performance have grown considerably among stakeholders across business, societal and governmental spheres in a very short period of time. Our industry is well prepared to meet these expectations, thanks to our long-term, continuous investments in 5G evolution and in 6G research, which have long been aimed at creating a universal connectivity platform to support all manner of innovation, automation and digitalization.

In my 2022 technology trends article, I explore the most important future network trends that are driving the development of both 5G and 6G. There are three of them this year: (1) a unified network platform that enables business-driven enterprise innovation, (2) connectivity for an immersive user experience, and (3) the quest for high-performing networks. To learn more about this year’s trends and their implications, check out the article on page 40.

This issue of the magazine also includes six other articles that highlight progress in important research areas including hybrid and multi-cloud deployments, self-adapting automation and energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is a particularly hot topic right now for obvious reasons, which is why I am pleased to be able to include three articles on the subject in this issue. The network energy performance article on page 70 may be the most logical place to start. The authors begin by outlining all the ways in which the lean design of the NR standard enables communication service providers to significantly lower the energy consumption of their 5G networks in comparison to what was possible with 4G.

Anyone who is keen to learn more about the future of holographic communication will benefit from reading the article on page 30. The authors have explored the feasibility of using 5G networks to deliver holographic communication, which is recognized as one of the most anticipated XR use cases. Their end-to-end architecture for high-quality holographic communication makes it possible to both reduce the energy consumption of mobile devices and the end-to-end latency by moving high performance computing to the 5G network.

We hope you enjoy this issue of our magazine and that you will pass it along to your colleagues and business partners. You can find both PDF and HTML versions of all the articles here.


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