Mobile World Live brings you our top three picks of the week, with Ericsson raising its 5G user forecast, KT shaking up its R&D team and Project Kuiper opting for AWS infrastructure.

Ericsson ups 2023 5G forecast by 100M

What happened: Ericsson boosted its forecast for global 5G subscriptions to 1.6 billion by the end of 2023, after estimating additions to total 610 million, a 63 per cent increase year-on-year.

Why it matters: The Swedish vendor raised a previous prediction by about 100 million, which would mean one-in-five global mobile subscriptions would be 5G by end-2023 and the technology would cover 45 per cent of the global population. North America is expected to lead with a 61 per cent penetration rate, with India to rack up 160 million 5G subscribers some 14 months after services launched.

KT creates merged R&D unit

What happened: South Korean operator KT integrated its IT and R&D groups to create a Technology Innovation Division, part of a wider reorganisation and executive reshuffle.

Why it matters: The company made bold moves to transform into an ICT services specialist, with new CEO Kim Young-seop bringing in a fresh CTO for the R&D unit, promoting head of its customer strategy division Park Hyo-il to CSO, and dismantling the Digital Transformation Convergence division and creating an AI unit to establish a governance framework.

Project Kuiper, AWS forge private network ties

What happened: Amazon-owned Project Kuiper announced a plan to offer private networking capabilities in partnership with Amazon Web Services.

Why it matters: The access to AWS infrastructure will enable Project Kuiper customers to move data into any cloud region globally. The satellite service provider also forged a deal with three NTT companies in Japan and Sky Perfect JSAT to provide broadband services to enterprises and government divisions.