LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2014: Ericsson’s CEO confirmed that the company’s engineers are already working on new wireless technologies such as 5G, but warned that it was still too early to say what form the technology might take and that it is unlikely to appear before 2020.
Instead, Hans Vestberg claims that the further development of existing 3G and 4G technology will provide performance improvements. “Our R&D engineers are working on enhancing the capabilities of both, and believe they can significantly boost 3G/4G horsepower over the next few years,” he said.
The creation of future wireless technologies can no longer be done in isolation and needs the involvement of other industries outside of the telecoms world, noted Vestburg. The company, which already has close partnership with major companies in sectors outside of telecoms, used Congress to announce a new relationship with Philips Lighting for the integration of base stations into street lighting poles.
Commenting on the push for 5G, Vestberg told Mobile World Daily: “Regions around the world have always had initiatives regarding new technology, and it’s important that you start early with R&D to stay in the forefront. For example, we first commenced work on 4G/LTE in 2000, and understand the need to invest in the research of 5G.”
“But we shouldn’t forget what can be provided today using the capabilities and features of 3G and 4G. Also, only 50 per cent of networks provide 3G today, so for many of our customer the existing network technologies can offer many improvement to their present capabilities,” he continued.
But this drive for network proficiency seem to be on the rise with consumers. According to research conducted by Ericsson, today’s smartphone customers rates network performance as the most important consideration, ahead of operator pricing and tariffs.