Ericsson chief sounds 5G fragmentation warning - Mobile World Live

Ericsson chief sounds 5G fragmentation warning

09 DEC 2020

Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm (pictured) urged authorities to ensure geopolitical issues do not cause a split of the global communications ecosystem, cautioning this could hamper innovation and limit applications for 5G technology.

Speaking at the Ericsson Unboxed 2020 event, Ekholm highlighted the importance of interoperable infrastructure in providing a huge potential base for 5G use cases and applications, with fragmentation in the industry a potential stumbling block.

Referring to moves in various countries to ban specific vendors from supplying 5G equipment, he pointed to the importance of competition in aiding innovation: “We believe countries need to combine the consideration of national security with…openness for trade”.

He said bans start “to fragment the market”, noting current technologies are based on an open global standard “with more than 8 billion interoperable connections”.

“This has provided massive opportunities for innovation,” he added. “I would really hope we can keep this together and not end up with a fragmented internet.”

The comments echo previous statements made by the executive during an ongoing row in Ericsson’s home market of Sweden about Huawei and ZTE’s market access.

5G progress
Elsewhere during the online event, the company highlighted it had signed a total of 117 commercial 5G contracts covering 79 networks around the world.

Although hailing its progress, Ericsson EVP and head of Europe and Latin America Arun Bansal noted policy makers in parts of Europe and Asia were still not moving fast enough in allocation of spectrum.

Bansal also called on operators to create an ecosystem for 5G use cases, especially in the enterprise, rather than waiting for a “killer app”.

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Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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