INTERVIEW: Ericsson CTO Erik Ekudden (pictured) revealed the company sees a business opportunity in device management, as IoT deployments ramp to reach billions of connections in the coming years.
At the recent Mobile World Congress Shanghai (MWCS), Ekudden told Mobile World Live the vendor was involved in the deployment of more than half the world’s 60 commercial cellular IoT networks with LTE-M and NB-IoT technologies. But he noted the company is looking beyond connectivity for the future of its business, with an eye toward helping others manage their IoT deployments.
“Our role, in addition to the connectivity itself, the actual access, is to handle the connectivity management, the data and device management in cases where that’s needed for the industries.”
In June, Ericsson predicted the number of cellular IoT connections will skyrocket to 3.5 billion by 2023, an increase over its previous forecast of 1.7 billion connections.
The CTO said growth is being fuelled by the aforementioned network deployments and the development of a robust device ecosystem.
“Perhaps the most important part is that the ecosystem around is start[ing] to see the value in having one global innovation platform for IoT. You don’t need to work with bespoke solutions with different flavours in different countries, different industries. You have one platform for all.”
Ekudden’s comments came just before the company released its second quarter results. In its Q2 results statement yesterday CEO Borje Ekholm noted Ericsson is seeing “increasing momentum with several important customer wins with our [IoT] connectivity platform in the quarter.” But, he warned: “Sales are still low.”
In the MWCS interview Ekudden also discussed the differences between 5G deployments in China and the US, including focus areas and spectrum.
To watch the full interview, click here.