Ericsson report highlights potential economic benefits of 5G in emerging markets

  • Comprehensive Analysys Mason study spans 15 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America
  • Potential GDP economic benefits vastly outweigh investment costs
  • Governments, regulators and policy makers play a key enabling role
  • Countries also set to benefit from environmental and social inclusion capabilities

A major new Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) commissioned study by management consulting firm Analysys Mason highlights the potential economic, consumer and environmental benefits of 5G connectivity in 15 national emerging markets. With regulatory and government support, all fifteen countries could benefit from GDP growth between 0.3 and 0.46 percent through 2035, with an estimated three-to-seven-fold cost-to-benefit ratio.

Called the Future Value of Mobile in Emerging Markets, the report examines the impact of multiple 5G spectrum deployment options to facilitate enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access (FWA) across consumer, industry, logistics, rural and public services clusters, and spanning several business case options, including verticals.

The detailed methodology included using national government statistics and reports, Ericsson network insights and innovative mapping techniques – based on population density distribution and existing national infrastructure such as, road and rail networks, and agriculture – to create a cost-to-benefit model across the different deployment options.

Deployment options are based on the starting assumption of having 5G baseline rollout added to existing mobile radio network sites. Additional options explore the extra benefits of adding Low-Band 5G spectrum coverage beyond the baseline (delivering wider geographical coverage at the lower end of 5G capabilities and suited to agriculture or logistics deployments) or Mid-Band 5G spectrum coverage – delivering smaller geographical coverage per site, but with higher capacity and speed, suitable for manufacturing, automation, industry and advanced services.

Expanded Mid-Band 5G coverage is identified as the key success factor – with the potential to deliver about 80 percent of the economic benefits. Benefits from the Smart Industry and Smart Rural clusters account for 85-90 percent of the total economic benefits in each emerging market.

Agriculture is a significant sector in all 15 countries – accounting for up to 10 percent of GDP in some markets. The report estimates that enhanced rural 5G coverage could deliver up to 1.8 percent uplift in long-term GDP from agriculture. 5G will also promote sustainable farming methods, increase efficiency and reduce agricultural waste.

Study findings include:

  • Baseline 5G deployment cost is estimated between USD 3-8 billion per country. An additional 20-35 percent investment is required to extend coverage
  • Extending coverage beyond the baseline can generate significant GDP benefits from industrial adoption, especially from mid-band coverage extension
  • Most countries are expected to generate overall economic benefits (GDP) three-to-seven times higher than the incremental cost of extending coverage
  • Results suggest 5G mobile broadband can generate consumer surplus between USD 1-10 billion per country, with coverage extension giving 20-30 percent extra consumer surplus
  • The social benefits enabled by 5G will be greatest from 5G-based FWA, smart factories, freight and logistics, agriculture and healthcare use cases
  • Adopting 5G can help reduce emissions by supporting digital transformation in agriculture, freight and logistics, smart factories and construction

The study highlights how governments, regulators and policy makers can support the 5G ecosystem to deliver the benefits.

These include treating 5G as a national infrastructure with a 5G national strategy and roadmap; implementing 5G spectrum policies that facilitate speedier and widespread deployment, including trading off spectrum fees for deployment targets that meet connectivity policy objectives; implementing policies and procedures to make infrastructure deployment and site upgrades easier; working with communications services providers to enhance coverage in areas where commercially-led solutions are not viable; incentivizing the use and prominence of 5G in industry and manufacturing; promoting 5G in the public sector and promoting the environmental benefits of 5G solutions.

Andrew Lloyd, Head of Government and Policy Advocacy, Ericsson, says: ”This Analysys Mason Future Value of Mobile in Emerging Markets report provides a detailed breakdown, based on comprehensive research into realistic and achievable scenarios in each of the 15 countries, of the potential economic, social, environmental and national benefits of 5G in these markets. With the backing of governments, regulators and policy makers, each of these 15 countries, and their citizens, stand to benefit significantly from 5G connectivity. In addition to economic benefits, 5G can also reduce climate impact, increase social inclusion, wellbeing and tackle the digital divide in areas where fixed infrastructure availability is poor.”

Janette Stewart, Partner, Analysys Mason, says: ”The study highlights the benefits from having the right spectrum available for 5G deployment, both for geographic coverage, for which the low-bands are very suitable, and in the 3.5GHz band where most of the high-capacity 5G deployments in other markets are already taking place.”

The countries addressed in the report research are Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.

Ericsson’s largest consumer study shows 5G is already paving the path to the metaverse

  • Ericsson ConsumerLab’s 5G: The Next Wave report is the largest consumer 5G research to date.
  • Compared to 4G users – 5G users spend an average of one hour per-week more on metaverse-related services, such as gaming in virtual worlds, and augmented reality (AR).
  • Half of 5G consumers who already use extended-reality (XR) related services believe AR apps will move from smartphones to XR headsets within two years

As 5G uptake in many parts of the world bridges the milestone from early adopters to mass adoption, major new Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) research – the industry’s largest global study of its kind to date – underlines consumers’ growing commitment to 5G and their expectations on next-generation uses cases.

Called 5G: The Next Wave, the Ericsson ConsumerLab report addresses the impact 5G has had on early adopter consumers since launching in various countries, as well as gauging the intention of non-5G subscribers to take up the technology – and their related expectations. The report forecasts that at least 30 percent of smartphone users intend to take up a 5G subscription within the next year.

The mix of Ericsson tracking data covering 5G launches since 2019, and the new consumer survey, has enabled Ericsson ConsumerLab to identify six key trends impacting the next wave of 5G adoption.

The report covers the behavioral changes triggered by the bundling of digital services into 5G plans by communications service providers – particularly the increased use of enhanced video and augmented reality (AR) apps.

The report also addresses the speed of mainstream 5G adoption, whether consumer demands are being met, and 5G-related changes in smartphone behavior – and their impact on network traffic.

More than 49,000 consumers in 37 countries were interviewed in the research – the largest global 5G-related consumer survey in the industry to date and the largest consumer survey conducted by Ericsson on any topic. The survey scope is representative of the opinions of about 1.7 billion consumers worldwide, including 430 million 5G subscribers.

Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Head of Ericsson ConsumerLab, says: ”The scale of the research gives us an authentic insight into consumers’ views and attitudes to 5G. The report shows that the next wave of potential 5G users have different expectations from the technology compared to early adopters. Overall, consumers see engaging with 5G as an essential part of their future lifestyles.”

He adds: “It is interesting to note that 5G is emerging as an important enabler for early adopters to embrace metaverse-related services, such as socializing, playing and buying digital items in interactive 3D virtual gaming platforms. The amount of time spent on augmented reality apps by 5G users has also doubled over the past two years, compared to 4G users.”

The report forecasts that 5G consumers with experience of using extended reality (XR) functionality are likely to be the first to embrace future devices as they are more positive about the potential of mixed-reality glasses. Half of 5G users who already use XR-related services weekly think that AR apps will move from smartphones to XR headsets within the next two years, compared to one-third of 4G consumer who hold this view.

5G – the Next Wave Report: Six key trends

  1. 5G adoption to be inflation resilient: At least 510 million consumers across 37 markets are likely to take up 5G in 2023.
  2. The demanding next wave of users: The next wave of 5G users have high expectations on 5G performance, especially network coverage, compared to early adopters — who care about new innovative services enabled by 5G.
  3. Perceived 5G availability is emerging as the new satisfaction benchmark among consumers. Geographical coverage, indoor/outdoor coverage, and congregation hot-spot coverage are more important to building a user perception than population coverage.
  4. 5G is pushing up usage of enhanced video and augmented reality. Over the past two years, time spent on AR apps by 5G users has doubled to two hours per week.
  5. 5G monetization models are expected to evolve: Six in 10 consumers expect 5G offerings to move beyond more data volume and speeds to on-demand tailored network capabilities for specific needs.
  6. 5G adoption is setting the path to the metaverse. 5G users on average are already spending one hour more per-week in metaverse-related services than 4G users. They also expect two hours of more video content will be consumed weekly on mobile devices, 1.5 hours of which will be on AR/VR glasses by 2025.

Ericsson launches Global Utilities Innovation Center

New platform to accelerate 4G and 5G solutions for utilities

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) today announced the opening of its Global Utilities Innovation Center at its facility in Plano, Texas. The new fully functional facility consists of a purpose-built operating lab and demo environment locations that will allow utilities to engage with Ericsson and its partners to solve real-world connectivity challenges.

“Private cellular networks are principal catalysts for utilities in their digital transformation journey to address multiple use cases, and utilities can now leverage our Global Utilities Innovation Center to experiment with different 4G and 5G use cases and co-create with our ecosystem partners,” says Koustuv Ghoshal, Vice President and Head of Utilities, Energy & Industrials at Ericsson North America. “We look forward to partnering with utilities around the world on their grid modernization journey.”

The Global Utilities Innovation Center is integrated with Ericsson’s state-of-the art device testing lab a short distance from the Plano site, where utilities and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) partners can test interoperability of their field and IoT devices over mission-critical networks in a safe and secure environment. As a fully functional end-to-end operational lab, the center contains a physical representation of a utility smart grid, enabling real-world demonstrations of end-to-end private networks operations across the power grid from generation and transmission to distribution to end users.

“Utilities require mission-critical networks that have to be secure, reliable, and increasingly sustainable,” says Per Wahlen, Head of Business Development at Ericsson North America. “This center is a state-of-the art facility where we can work closely with utility companies, exploring new 4G and 5G use cases and delivering end-to-end solutions. At each point, you can see the benefits of the latest generations of cellular wireless networks in enhancing security, resilience, and efficiency of the power infrastructure.”

Ericsson’s Global Utilities Innovation Center creates an interactive, engaging experience to showcase Ericsson and partner solutions for utilities. The Innovation Center environment is a learning platform for exchanging information and ideas between the utilities, Ericsson, and the entire industry.
The environment also allows for co-creation with Ericsson partners while utilities replicate their end-to-end use cases. The Global Utilities Innovation Center includes the Ericsson Experience Center in Plano, Texas, and Ericsson Labs in Richardson, Texas.

AI-powered Ericsson Performance Optimizers – top network performance and automation, rolled into one

• The new solution leverages automation, scalability, speed, accuracy, and consistency in network optimization to enable a superior subscriber experience, while reducing operating costs.

• Ericsson and Ooredoo Qatar trialed the software solution at a major football tournament and noted improved uplink capacity along with gains on speed and traffic volume.

• A part of Ericsson’s Cognitive Software portfolio, the solution uses digital twin technology and advanced AI techniques like deep reinforcement learning.

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) Performance Optimizers is a suite of AI-powered applications, that analyze the CSPs’ Radio Access Network (RAN) to proactively provide mobile network optimization recommendations and resolve specific network performance issues.

Ericsson Performance Optimizers can be deployed to enable a helicopter view of the network as a whole. The solution accounts for the invisible changes in the network caused by each addition to the environment, such as new applications, city growth, new sites or user behavior. It is equipped with digital twin technology and advanced AI techniques like deep reinforcement learning.

Digital twin technology accurately mimics the network behavior upon parameter changes, ensuring an approach that minimizes risk and elevates the optimizer’s quality to telco grade from day one. Reinforcement learning is a machine-learning (ML) technique that learns from the network, where an agent (Performance Optimizer) interacts with the environment and takes actions towards a long-term goal.

Additionally, the solution can also be used to accurately predict network performance improvements and proactively provide one-shot optimization recommendations for targeted cells.
Ericsson plans to periodically add new features to the existing solution to address the challenges brought on by different network issues, thereby increasing the coverage of automated optimization.

With 5G, CSPs are looking to transform essential parts of their operations to achieve optimal performance and return on investment. Vendor agnostic AI-native solutions such as Ericsson Performance Optimizers are key to automate and cope with growing complexity while keeping control of cost.

In November 2021, Ericsson trialed the solution with Ooredoo Qatar for a major football tournament. As part of the partnership Ericsson provided network optimization and event management and 5G connectivity in three stadiums, airports and places of attraction. Massive efficiency gains were noted – where traditional worst cell analysis takes days to complete, the new automated approach with performance optimizers took only 15 minutes, producing hundreds of recommendations.

Juan Manuel Melero, Head of Network Design & Optimization, Ericsson, says: During the trial with Ooredoo Qatar, we noted that 89% of internal uplink interference cases were automatically resolved by the Performance Optimizers. This resulted in 7% improvement in uplink capacity, along with significant gains in speed and traffic volume. We now look forward to leveraging our expertise and experience to support our customers around the world to achieve top network performance and deliver the best user experience.

Günther Ottendorfer, Chief Technology and Infrastructure Officer at Ooredoo Qatar, says: For Ooredoo, customer experience and automation are top priority. We see AI-powered operations as key to deliver on our promise of world-class services to our subscribers. During the major football event held in Qatar in December 2021, Ericsson’s Cognitive Software provided a near real-time automation of optimization actions. The end-result was a superior user experience. before, during and after the matches.

Ericsson Performance Optimizers suite is part of the Cognitive Software pack in Ericsson Operations Engine. It can be implemented through licensing, software as a service (SaaS) or as part of our services packs.

Ericsson Time-Critical Communication recognized by GTI as “Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology”

Ericsson Time-Critical Communication was recognized at the recently concluded MWC 2022 event in Barcelona. The company is a recipient of the GTI Award 2022 for “Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology” as well as the Outstanding Award for significant contribution to the industry.

Launched in October 2021, Time-Critical Communication is an end-to-end software toolbox for 5G networks that delivers the consistent low latency and high reliability demanded by time-critical applications and services for consumers, enterprises, and public sector. For instance, it strives to enable lag-free games, immersive AR and VR sport events experience, seamless remote control in factories, and increased road safety.

The toolbox combines 3GPP-specified ultra-reliable, low latency communication (URLLC) standard with Ericsson innovations to mitigate major causes of latency, unlocking a wide range of latency-sensitive use cases in real-time media, remote control, mobility automation, and industrial control.

Marie Hogan, Head of Mobile Broadband Voice and New Business at Ericsson Networks, says: “It is heartening to see our effort to enable the benefits of 5G acknowledged by the industry. We will continue to work closely with our ecosystem partners to bring more time-critical use cases to life.”

Ericsson has been piloting 5G for time-critical use cases since 2017 with customers and industry partners in extensive proof of concept (PoC) demos and trials ranging from jet engine productionfactory automation safety to driverless minibuses.

Ericsson, together with a European communications service provider and other ecosystem partners, also recently showed at MWC 2022 the potential benefits of Time-Critical Communication for AR streaming applications with enhanced quality of experience.

About GTI Awards

The GTI Awards program aims to acknowledge achievements and success of industry players in 4G evolution and 5G development across a wide range of market segments.

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