Australian telco Telstra announced this week that it has achieved a 5G uplink speed of 350 Mbps over 5G Standalone (SA) using sub-6 GHz frequencies in a live commercial network in partnership with Ericsson and Qualcomm. Telstra claims this as a new global record for 5G uplink speed, which is 100 times faster than the average 3G uplink speed.
Telstra’s new 5G SA uplink capability combines its mid-band spectrum holdings to create a 140MHz channel for sending data from the device to the network.
The tests were completed using a mobile test device powered by Qualcomm Technologies’ latest Snapdragon® 5G modem-RF System and an existing in-market NetGear Nighthawk M6 Pro Mobile Broadband device in the live commercial network on the Gold Coast.
The latest software from Ericsson brings together different combinations of frequency ranges and types to enable a single 5G uplink and downlink data channel.
By aggregating carrier bands, it considerably increases the uplink speeds, while the ability to use low band carriers in these combinations of frequencies delivers improved coverage and performance enhancements for the 5G SA Network.
Mr Amirthalingam says: “The uplink and downlink 5G data channels work together to provide a seamless and almost symmetrical like 5G service, meeting the increasing demand for data-intensive applications such as augmented and virtual reality, or sharing photos and memorable movie moments with friends.
“The technology also includes advanced features in the base station that can prioritise different types of data and applications and can support future differentiated services, like network slicing.”
“On top of this, Telstra also has the option to use the n5 (850MHz) carrier that is currently serving its 3G Network. “
“Our latest 5G Standalone uplink speed achievement is 100 times faster than the typical 3G uplink speed, which is great news for customers. Enterprise Applications such as these are increasingly becoming more uplink heavy with things like such as high-definition video surveillance cameras and the faster speeds and coverage will all provide a much better experience.”
“The ability to use low band frequencies and repurpose our 3G low band 850 MHz frequency to deliver 5G SA coverage when the 3G network closes on 30 June 2024, has the benefit of providing improved depth of coverage and enhancing the 5G experience for customers.”
“It’s a further example of how we are leading the way in 5G innovation and investment, and how we are committed to delivering the best and most advanced network for Australia.”
To test and validate this capability, Telstra worked with long-term partners Ericsson, the global leader in 5G network equipment, and Qualcomm, one of the world’s leading wireless chipset companies.
Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, says: “Ericsson’s latest software features enables Telstra to capitalize the full spectrum portfolio for a wider coverage whilst providing far superior data rates. Customers will be empowered to explore new experiences offered with 5G Standalone such as differentiated services and a range of applications, which will in turn drive network monetization.”
Durga Malladi, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Technology Planning & Edge Solutions Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., says: This live test proves that uplink carrier aggregation on 5G Standalone network has the potential to significantly increase upload speeds and capacity, thus unlocking new experiences for consumers.”
This latest achievement takes Telstra’s World-First count to 53 since the launch of 3G. It is only through its collaboration efforts with industry and its strategic partners, like Ericsson and Qualcomm, that it can deliver the technology innovation and leadership that its customers can benefit from.
Telstra has also implemented Ericsson’s Dynamic Network Slicing software for automated network orchestration. This software gives the operator a fully automated and monetizable network slicing orchestration capability to sell slicing services to enterprise customers.
Years after 5G network slicing was hyped to the sky (see References below dating from 2028), BT Group, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. have successfully demonstrated end-to-end consumer and enterprise 5G differentiated connectivity enabled by 5G network slicing on Ericsson’s 5G Core and Radio Access Network technology in the UK with devices powered by the Snapdragon ® 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy Mobile Platform.
The trial, which took place at Adastral Park, BT Group’s home of research and innovation, established network slices for Gaming, Enterprise and Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), and showed how, by allocating a portion of the 5G SA network to provide dynamic partitions for specific use-cases, optimal performance can be maintained for bandwidth-heavy activities including mobile gaming and video conferencing even during peak times.
Mobile gaming is experiencing relentless growth, with traffic on EE’s network almost doubling since the beginning of 2023 to more than two petabytes of data every month. With consistent low-latency, jitter-free and immersive experiences increasingly essential to the gaming experience, network slicing is expected to be a key enabler of performance and growth in the 5G SA era.
Together, BT Group, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies demonstrated an optimal mobile cloud gaming experience on Nvidia’s GeForce Now, maintaining a throughput comfortably in excess of the recommended 25 Mbps at 1080p even when a background load was generated. The companies initiated a gaming session on Fortnite using the Samsung S23 Ultra device, equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy Mobile Platform, and Ericsson implemented Network slicing along with the Ericsson RAN feature Radio Resource Partitioning on EE’s Network to achieve a smooth experience. The experience was simultaneously compared to a non-optimised eMBB RAN partition, which was congested by the background load, resulting in a less than optimal gaming experience.
The trial also validated the potential of network slicing for BT Group’s business customers. Using the enterprise and eMBB slices, configured via URSP rules which enables a device to connect to multiple network slices simultaneously depending on the application, it demonstrated consistent 4K video streaming and enterprise use-cases using the Samsung S23 Ultra device, powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. Enterprise communications platforms and video applications such as YouTube require a stable connection and low jitter to work well. The Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing feature, Radio Resource Partitioning, was enabled to ensure the enterprise traffic to achieve an optimal experience.
5G network slicing requires a 5G SA core network. It supports these diverse services and reassigns resources as needed from one virtual network slice to another, making the one-size-fits-all approach to service delivery obsolete.
Image courtesy of Viavi
Greg McCall, Chief Networks Officer, BT Group, said: “Network slicing will enable us to deliver new and improved capabilities for customers in the 5G SA era. As we work diligently towards the launch of our own 5G SA network, today’s successful demonstration of how slicing enables us to differentiate Quality of Service to guarantee performance for different segments is a significant milestone, and illustrative of the new services that will be enabled by 5G SA.”
Enrico Salvatori, Senior Vice President and President, Qualcomm Europe/MEA of Qualcomm Europe, Inc., said: “We are proud to collaborate with BT Group and Ericsson on the network slicing trial, which used a device powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy mobile platform. Together, we showcased the enhanced performance and flexibility 5G Standalone capabilities, such as network slicing, will bring to consumers and enterprise experiences.”
Katherine Ainley, CEO, Ericsson UK & Ireland, said: “5G standalone and network slicing demonstrates that leading operators like EE will be able to offer customers tailored connectivity with different requirements on speed, latency and reliability for specific applications, such as video streaming and gaming. This ultimate next step in connectivity will enable new service offerings for consumers and businesses who require premium performance, while helping to drive future market growth and innovation for the UK in a wide range of new industries.”
Ericsson and Nokia demonstrate 5G Network Slicing on Google Pixel 6 Pro phones running Android 13 mobile OS
Network Slicing and 5G: Why it’s important, ITU-T SG 13 work, related IEEE ComSoc paper abstracts/overviews
With Ericsson and Qualcomm doing the “heavy lifting,” Finland network operator Elisa conducted a live test of uplink carrier aggregation (CA) on its commercial 5G standalone (SA) network. Elisa operates commercial 5G SA networks, starting with its home market of Finland and following it up last year by deploying it in Estonia.
The three partners achieved an upload speed of 230 Mbps in a live 5G network using Uplink Carrier Aggregation. For this test, a 25MHz 2.6 GHz FDD (frequency division duplex) band was combined with a 100MHz 3.5 GHz TDD (time division duplex) band running on a mobile test device powered by Snapdragon® X75 5G Modem-RF System.
Ericsson’s Uplink Carrier Aggregation software combines mid-band FDD and mid-band TDD within the frequency range 1 (FR1), boosting speeds to enable uplink-heavy applications such as live streaming, broadcasts, cloud gaming, extended reality, and video-based use cases.
Uplink-heavy consumer applications on the rise:
A growing amount of data traffic generated today is in the uplink, highlighting the need for new network capabilities to boost uplink speed and capacity and deliver seamless 5G user experience. For instance, concertgoers are recording and streaming videos live on their social media accounts. With fast uplink speeds, they can share their most exciting moments in real-time with friends and family without worrying about lags, congestion, or poor network quality.
Mårten Lerner, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “This latest technology milestone with our partners Elisa and Qualcomm Technologies unlocks high upload speeds in commercial 5G Standalone networks. With this game-changing software capability, we are enabling unparalleled user experience for applications such as live streaming, video conferencing, augmented reality/virtual reality and cloud gaming.”
Sami Rajamäki, Vice President, Network Services, Elisa, says: “We continue as a pioneer of 5G in Finland and develop our network services with our customers’ future needs in mind. The use of augmented reality and development towards metaverse will increase the demand for fast uplink connections. Therefore the top speeds achieved together with Ericsson and Qualcomm are an important step in the development of 5G Standalone network.”
Dino Flore, Vice President, Technology at Qualcomm Europe, Inc. says: “The uplink speed achieved with Elisa and Ericsson is a testament to the breakthrough performance of the Snapdragon X75 5G Modem-RF System. We are excited to see the innovative use cases Elisa can unlock for customers with their 5G Standalone network.”
Ericsson has a robust portfolio of software features that provide a boost in the uplink, and the feature deployed in this demo with Elisa and Qualcomm – FR1 Uplink Carrier Aggregation – became commercially available in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Visit the Ericsson booth in Hall 2 at MWC 2024 in Barcelona to see how a superior uplink performance is being enabled for use cases such as live streaming.
Dish Wireless with Qualcomm Technologies and Samsung test simultaneous 5G 2x uplink and 4x downlink carrier aggregation
Ericsson and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur have announced a partnership for a long-term cooperation for joint research in the area of radio, computing and AI (artificial intelligence). Both organisations have signed two milestone agreements. As part of the agreements, researchers from IIT Kharagpur and Ericsson will collaborate to develop novel AI and distributed compute tech for 6G. Leaders from IIT Kharagpur and Ericsson participated in discussing the developments and advancements for the future of networks and communications at the GS Sanyal School Telecommunications (GSSST).
Ericsson members from left: Rupa Deshmukh, Mikael Prtz, Kaushik Dey, Mikael Hook, Bo Hagerman,Magnus Frodigh, Director – Prof V. k Tewari, Deputy Director – Prof Amit Patra, Anil R Nair
Two key initiatives finalized by Ericsson and IIT were:
a) Compute offload and Resource Optimisation at edge compute: The project aims to explore resource optimization, dynamic observability and sustainable distributed and Edge computing technologies.
b) RL-based Beamforming for JCAS: Safe, Causal, and Verifiable: The project aims to explore causal AI methods for joint communication and sensing (JCAS).
AI and Compute Research is instrumental to Ericsson’s 6G networks as the compute offload needs to be managed dynamically at edge and the policies would primarily be driven by AI. These themes of research are well aligned with IIT Kharagpur and both organizations view this partnership as a way to push the boundaries of fundamental and applied research in the Radio domain.
Ericsson laid off 8,500 employees last year as part of its cost-cutting initiatives and reduced total costs by 12 billion Swedish crowns ($1.15 billion) in 2023.
Telecoms equipment suppliers are expecting a challenging 2024 as 5G equipment sales – a key source of revenue – are slowing in North America, while India, a growth market, may also see a slowdown. Ericsson’s fourth-quarter net sales fell 16% to 71.9 billion Swedish crowns ($6.89 billion), missing estimates of 76.64 billion.
Magnus Frodigh, Head of Ericsson Research, says: “This collaboration strengthens our R&D commitments in India and is pivotal to Radio, Compute and AI research. We are excited to partner with IIT Kharagpur and look forward to collaborative research in fundamental areas as well as translational research for our Future Network Platforms”. Dr Frodigh also presented Ericsson’s vision on 6G which aims to blend the physical and digital worlds enabling us to improve the quality of life by incorporating widespread Sensor-based communications between humans and machines through digital twins.
Nitin Bansal, Managing Director of Ericsson India said, “Ericsson is well poised to lead 6G innovation and we are making significant R&D investments in India in line with our commitment to the country. Given our 5G and technology leadership, our research initiatives are geared to provide affordable network platforms for ubiquitous connectivity all across the country.”
Virendra Kumar, Director at IIT Kharagpur, said, “In the commitment towards Digital India and making India the hub of technological innovation, this collaboration with Ericsson will be effective for next-generation technology significantly. 6G networks integrated with artificial intelligence will enable AI-powered applications to run faster and more efficiently. In the 6G era, IIT Kharagpur aims to contribute to Radio Access Technology and Network, Core Network, RF & Device Technologies, VLSI Design, Neuromorphic Signal Processing, Services and Applications.”
Ericsson enables communications service providers to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services, and Emerging Business and is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency and find new revenue streams. Ericsson’s investments in innovation have delivered the benefits of telephony and mobile broadband to billions of people around the world. The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York. www.ericsson.com
About IIT Kharagpur:
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT KGP) is a higher educational and academic institute, known globally for nurturing industry ready professionals for the world and is a pioneer institution to provide Excellence in Education, producing affordable technology innovations. Set up in 1951 in a detention camp as an Institute of National Importance, the Institute ranks among the top five institutes in India and is awarded, “The Institute of Eminence”, by the Govt. of India in 2019. The Institute is engaged in several international and national mission projects and ranks significantly in research output with about 20 academic departments, 12 schools, 18 centers (including 10 Centre of Excellence) and 2 academies with vast tree-laden campus, spreading over 2100 acres having 16,000+ students. Currently, it has about 750+ faculty, 850+ employees and 1240+ projects.
To know more visit: [http://www.iitkgp.ac.in/]
Ericsson expects challenges in the mobile-network industry to continue this year as customers remain cautious about spending and as the investment pace normalizes in its key Indian market. The Swedish telecommunications-equipment company said sales in its network equipment unit fell 23% in the fourth quarter, with sales momentum in India slowing, while North America had a 50% drop in sales.
Ericsson, the world’s biggest western vendor of 5G network equipment, had a 10% drop in sales on a constant-currency basis in 2023, despite a renewed focus on cost cutting. Reported revenues fell 3%, to 263.4 billion Swedish kronor (US$25.2 billion), and Ericsson’s closely monitored gross margin shrank from 41.7% to 38.6%. After impairment charges affecting Vonage, the VoIP software company Ericsson bought for $6.2 billion in July 2022, the Swedish vendor went from a SEK19.1 billion ($1.8 billion) net profit the year before to a SEK26.1 billion ($2.5 billion) loss.
Ericsson saw a shift in its business mix through 2023 from higher-margin 5G work in early-mover markets like North America to lower-margin developing markets such as India. This helped keep sales levels propped up but has held margins back.
The rapid phase of 5G deployments in India is now moderating, with sales in the country growing by 14% on year, but declining by almost 40% compared with the third quarter.
“A reduction in capex investments in India was expected in the beginning of 2024 but occurred earlier than anticipated,” Ericsson said in a statement.
“It is important to note that, looking historically, large declines in the mobile network market are followed by a rebound,” said Börje Ekholm, Ericsson’s CEO, on his usual quarterly call with analysts. “Operators can sweat the assets up to a point but eventually will need to invest to manage the data traffic growth, cost, energy usage and, of course, network quality, and give the customer the experience that the customer demands.”
“As we look ahead, 2024 will be a difficult year and market conditions will prevail, and so we currently expect the market outside China to further decline as our customers remain cautious and the investment pace normalizes in India,” said Ekholm. A speedy rollout of 5G in the huge Asian country slowed down massively in the final quarter, explaining why Ericsson’s network sales in India fell sequentially by as much as 40%.
Ericsson reported a net profit attributable to shareholders of 3.39 billion Swedish kronor ($324 million) compared with SEK6.07 billion a year earlier, as sales fell 16% to SEK71.88 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected a net profit of SEK3.29 billion on sales of SEK76.64 billion.
The earnings before interest, tax and amortization margin excluding restructuring charges stood at 11.4%, beating company guidance of around 10%. The Swedish company expects the overall network market to shrink in 2024 and the near-term outlook remains uncertain, mainly due to the decline in India as well as generally cautious customer investments.
However, Ericsson expects to gain market share in North America toward the latter part of 2024 thanks to its recent $14B Open RAN contract win from AT&T. That deal has been heavily promoted by Ericsson and AT&T as an “open RAN” affair. Disaggregated network equipment with “open interfaces”would permit AT&T to pair Ericsson Open RAN gear with that from other Open RAN hardware vendors. Although Fujitsu has been named as another supplier of Open RAN radios, the contract will clearly make AT&T more dependent on Ericsson than it is today.
This author doesn’t believe the reported $14B deal will be totally realized, because AT&T will not deploy much, if any, Open RAN this year.
Ericsson also remains hopeful that Vonage can bring about a recovery. Along with other parts of the industry, it has been working to standardize the application programming interfaces (APIs) between the 5G network and the apps it would support. The idea is that a software developer would be able to write better 5G apps after paying for access to the Vonage platform where these network features are exposed. Money would trickle down to operators and they, in turn, would be more inclined to invest in network upgrades.
“In our view, the current investment levels are unsustainably low for many operators,” Chief Executive Borje Ekholm said. “We are therefore confident that a market recovery should materialize. However, the timing of market recovery is ultimately in the hands of our customers.”
PHOTO: LARS SCHRODER/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
State of 5G SA:
“It’s been exciting to see the industry evolve in the last decade or so, and see first-hand the massive growth of 4G and the arrival of 5G,” said Fredrik Jejdling Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks and Publisher of Ericsson Mobility Report.
The latest edition of Ericsson’s Mobility Report opens with the assertion that “5G standalone brings new opportunities,” which sounds promising, but there’s nothing in the report which shows what those opportunities are.
Ericsson says that 40 service providers have deployed or launched 5G SA in public networks, which agrees with Analysys Mason’s findings. To put that in context, around 280 service providers globally have launched commercial 5G with the overwhelming being 5G NSA.
Dell’Oro counted just seven 5G SA launches to date in 2023, while the GSA – which worked with Ericsson on the stats for its Mobility Report – shared data that also showed little growth in 5G SA this year.
- 1. 6 bn Global 5G mobile subscriptions are projected to reach 1.6 billion by the end of 2023.
- 30% 5G mid-band population coverage outside mainland China has increased from 10 percent in 2022 to around 30 percent at the end of 2023.
- 56 GB Global mobile data traffic consumption per smartphone is expected to reach 56 GB per month at the end of 2029.
Vodafone Germany has partnered with Ericsson to deploy new power-saving radio technology on its 5G network. The radio unit 6646 bundles three different frequencies (900, 800 and 700 MHz) and radio cells in one system in the control center located at the bottom of a mobile base station. By bundling the active technology, 5G base stations function with 32-40% less power.
The advantage of mobile radio stations with area frequencies is that they provide particularly large areas with stable and reliable mobile radio coverage. By bundling the active technology of different frequency ranges and several radio cells in one unit, they now require between 32 and 40 percent less energy, according to trials on the Vodafone network. Following successful tests in the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) region, the telecommunications group is now successively activating the technology in the live network together with its technology partner Ericsson.
The new energy-saving radio from Ericsson has been intensively tested in the live network in Wachtendonk in the Lower Rhine region over the past few weeks. The positive test results demonstrate an energy-saving potential of up to 40 percent per 5G base station and are the reason for today’s large-scale rollout. The new technology will be installed and automatically activated in NRW, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Saarland and Baden-Württemberg during routine maintenance and modernization work.
Test results on the Vodafone network show that energy requirements can be reduced by more than 2,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) per mobile phone site per year by bundling the active technology. This is roughly equivalent to the annual energy requirement of a two-person household per mobile phone station. If the technology is activated on a large scale in the network, significantly more than 30 million kilowatt hours of electricity can be saved each year. At the same time, stable and reliable network coverage will also be strengthened in rural regions.
Vodafone Germany CEO Philippe Rogge, says: “For the first time, we are bundling the active antenna technology of different area frequencies in mobile communications. This is good for smartphone users in rural areas and good for our planet. Because with the new technology, we are bringing fast and reliable 5G networks even better to people in rural areas and deep into buildings. At the same time, we are reducing the energy requirements of our mobile phone antennas. We expect to be able to save more than 30 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year with large-scale activation in our network.”
Daniel Leimbach, Head of Western Europe at Ericsson, says: “Energy consumption reduced by up to 40 percent, weight reduced by 60 percent – around a year ago, we celebrated a world premiere at the launch of the Radio 6646 at the Eurolab in Aachen. At the Imagine Live Innovation Day in the research and development center, our experts presented the innovative 5G technology for the first time. We are all the more pleased that Vodafone is convinced of its performance and energy efficiency and is installing the technology in the area. Because only innovations that are scalable, economical and powerful at the same time deliver the full benefits for mobile customers and sustainability.
The technology in Ericsson’s new radio:
Ericsson’s new remote radio combines the different 5G area frequencies 900, 800 and 700 MHz as well as the components of several radio cells into one compact system in a more sustainable way. By bundling three frequencies and several radio cells, the transmission technology consumes significantly less energy for each individual frequency range at full power. In addition, the new radio is 60 percent lighter and therefore requires less energy and material in the manufacturing process.
On the way to CO2 neutrality:
The new antenna product is another building block on Vodafone’s path to becoming more sustainable step by step. The Düsseldorf-based company has set itself specific targets to be CO2-neutral by 2025. The network is the biggest and most important lever here. Vodafone Germany has therefore been sourcing 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources since 2020. It is also constantly testing new technologies and solutions to make the German mobile network more sustainable and conserve resources. For example, the dynamic energy-saving mode in the mobile network has already been ensuring an intelligent adjustment between actual energy demand and consumption around the clock for over a year.
Ericsson, Vodafone and Qualcomm have demonstrated the first RAN Reduced Capability (RedCap) [1.] 5G data sessions on a European network, paving the way for a multitude of IoT and other connected devices to transmit data more simply and efficiently.
Note 1. 3GPP RedCap is a variation of 5G technology that was introduced in 3GPP Release 17 in mid-2022 and will be included in ITU-R M.2150-1. It provides reduced capability 5G New Radio (NR) devices for the mid-range segment. RedCap NR features include: Reduced UE complexity Fewer RX/TX antennas Reduced UE bandwidth use Lower UE power consumption Relaxed data rates Relaxed UE processing time and processing capability RedCap’s speeds, latency, and spectrum use are similar to advanced LTE capabilities. It’s considered the 5G heir to LTE Cat-4, with speeds of tens to hundreds of Mbps.
The successful demo took place on 21 September 2023 in the Spanish city of Ciudad Real, running on Ericsson’s RedCap RAN software using Vodafone Spain’s live testing 5G network ‘CREATE’ (Ciudad Real España Advanced Testing Environment).
RedCap enables connectivity for simpler device types, allowing many more devices to connect to 5G networks and transmit data at low power and lower cost, enhancing existing 5G use cases and unlocking new ones. These advantages apply to many different devices, from consumer wearables such as smartwatches to a wide range of IoT devices like smart water meters.
The technology, called New Radio Light (NR-Light), works with less complex devices that can be smaller, more cost-efficient, and enjoy longer battery life than traditional mobile broadband devices. NR-Light can also complement the network APIs developed by Vodafone for its customers to extend the battery life of their devices.
The joint demonstration in Spain leveraged the Qualcomm Snapdragon® X35 platform, the world’s first NR-Light modem RF. The Snapdragon X35 platform bridges the complexity gap between high-speed mobile broadband devices, and low-bandwidth, low-power devices. The demo is part of preparations for the introduction of Snapdragon-based commercial devices which are expected in 2024.
“This successful demonstration is an exciting moment for OEMs, network operators and network users, because it highlights a clear path to new devices and commercial use cases,” said Dino Flore, Vice President, Technology, Qualcomm Europe Inc. “The use of commercial 5G networks for lower-bandwidth applications is an important milestone, not least because this offers a migratory path for low-power devices with a 5G architecture, which also draws on the current and future benefits offered by 5G standalone (5G SA). We will continue to work with customers, industry and our partners to accelerate the creation of 5G devices which present exciting new use cases for enterprises and consumers.”
“Vodafone is able to continually evolve and improve its network for customers by being first to test the latest technologies. We are delighted that our unique multi-vendor 5G network, CREATE, was able to host and validate such an innovative trial in collaboration with Qualcomm and Ericsson,” said Francisco Martín, Head of Open RAN, Vodafone. “The results show that networks will be able to support many more energy efficient connected devices in the future.”
“We are very happy to be partnering with Vodafone and Qualcomm to perform Europe’s first 5G Reduced Capability data call,” said Isidro Nieto, Global Customer Unit Vodafone, Head of Technology Networks, Ericsson. “5G Redcap opens up new use cases for both enterprise and consumer segments such as industrial sensors, lower cost 5G routers as well as wearables. Ericsson embraces new ways to fully realize the value of 5G services and this joint demo shows that that the support for RedCap is gaining market momentum.”
Earlier this year, Juniper Research said the number of 5G IoT roaming connections will reach 142 million by 2027, up from just 15 million this year. IoT will account for 27% of all 5G roaming connections in four years time.
Today at the India Mobile Congress 2023, Ericsson announced the launch of its ‘India 6G‘ program with the establishment of an India 6G Research team at its Chennai R&D Center. Ericsson stated that the ‘India 6G’ team consists of senior research members and a team of experienced researchers in Radio, Networks, AI, and Cloud. They have been tasked with developing fundamental solutions for the future.
The India Research team, in collaboration with Ericsson research teams in Sweden and the US, will work together to develop the technology that will enable the delivery of a cyber-physical continuum. In this continuum, networks will provide critical services, immersive communications, and omnipresent IoT, all while ensuring the integrity of the delivered information.
The 6G Research team in India, in collaboration with Ericsson Global Research teams, will develop novel solutions. The teams are working on various projects, including Channel Modelling and Hybrid Beamforming, Low-energy Networks, Cloud Evolution and Sustainable Computing, Trustworthy, Explainable, and Bias-Free AI algorithms, Autonomous Agents for Intent Management Functions, Integrated Sensing and Communication Functions for the Man-Machine Continuum, and Compute Offload to Edge-Computing Cloud, among others.
“By establishing a dedicated 6G research team for in-country research, contextual to India’s need and collaborating with the world class research programs across international research labs, we look forward to incorporating the needs of India into the mainstream of telecommunication technology evolution. “stated Magnus Frodigh, Head of Research at Ericsson.
Ericsson says it is partnering with premier institutes in India for Radio, AI and Cloud Research. The company said, “AI Research is of high importance to Ericsson as the 6G networks would be autonomously driven by AI algorithms. Ericsson is also looking to partner with other premier engineering institutes in India for 6G related research.”
The Centre for Responsible AI is an interdisciplinary research centre that envisions becoming a premier research centre for both fundamental and applied research in Responsible AI with immediate impact in deploying AI systems in the Indian ecosystem. AI Research is of high importance to Ericsson as the 6G networks would be autonomously driven by AI algorithms. Ericsson is also looking to partner with other premier engineering institutes in India for 6G related research.
Ericsson in India:
Ericsson is reportedly partnering with Communication Service Providers, Bharti Airtel, and Reliance Jio to deploy 5G in the country.
According to the statement, Ericsson has been present in India since 1903, and the Ericsson Research team was established in 2010. With the establishment of 6G Research in India, Ericsson looks forward to playing a key role in advancing this technology in the country.
The company has three R&D centres in India, located in Chennai, Bengaluru, and Gurgaon.
6th Digital China Summit: China to expand its 5G network; 6G R&D via the IMT-2030 (6G) Promotion Group
As we have repeatedly stated, the entire telecom industry is in a funk and the 2024 outlook is looks just as gloomy as this year. MTN claims that telecom is a zero growth industry (see References below) and that certainly seems to be true. Let’s start with AT&T – the largest telco in the U.S. with 229.2M wireless subscribers as of Q2-2022.
In the first nine months of 2023, AT&T has shed 10,200 employees, including nearly 4,000 in the recent third quarter alone. AT&T cut many more jobs – 39,700 in total – in 2022 when it was in the process of spinning out Warner Media to Warner Brothers Discovery (the deal closed on April 8, 2022).
AT&T’s CEO told reporters last week that the U.S. based teclo plans to reduce costs by another $2 billion over the next three years. That’s after Stankey boasted that the company has cut costs by $6 billion in the last three and in an “inflationary environment.”
AT&T is hardly a growth company and has tons of debt. In the 3rd quarter of 2023, AT&T reported revenues of $30.4 billion, up only 1% year over year. Yet Stankey had the audacity to say in a press release, “Our investments in best-in-class 5G and fiber connectivity are fueling our growth engine. We’re gaining profitable customer relationships and becoming more efficient. This is powering our strong business performance.”
Iain Morris of LightReading wrote on October 20th, “The future AT&T is conceivably a cohort of antenna-carrying robots, some AI that writes code and Stankey with his feet up on the table, providing the only whiff of humanity.”
AT&T is not the only U.S. telco reducing its workforce. Earlier this year, T-Mobile announced that it will be laying off ~5,000 workers or around 7% of its workforce. This latest job cutting move will primarily impact employees in corporate, back-office, and technology roles, while those in retail or customer care positions will not be affected.
Network Equipment Vendors Layoffs and Gloomy Outlook:
Last week, Nokia said the company plans to cut at least 9,000 jobs and as many as 14,000 over the next three years. That’s mainly due to weak 5G equipment demand. Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark told reporters that Nokia’s sales have plummeted in North America (sales were down 40%) and that India’s 5G rollout is now slowing down as expected.
Over the next three years, his latest target is to reduce annual costs by between €800 million (US$843 million) and €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion). It’s a move that will reduce Nokia’s headcount by at least 9,000 roles from its current level of roughly 86,000. And at the upper end of the range, it will see an exodus of 14,000 employees, more than 16% of the total.
Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm cautioned of persistent macroeconomic uncertainty into 2024 which it expects will impact customers’ investment ability, as the wireless network equipment vendor reported a year-on-year net loss of SEK30.5 billion ($2.8 billion) from net income of SEK5.4 billion in Q2 2022, due to a SEK32 billion charge related to the acquisition of cloud company Vonage in 2022. In February, Reuters reported that Ericsson will lay off 8,500 employees globally as part of its plan to cut costs, a memo sent to employees.
Wireless network chip maker Qualcomm is slashing 1,258 jobs in California, including nearly 200 in the Bay Area, in the latest tech layoffs to hit the region. Qualcomm said in state filings that it will lay off approximately 194 workers in its Santa Clara offices and another 1,094 employees at its San Diego headquarters. The cuts are slated to begin Dec. 13th, based on a notice submitted to state officials this week. The job cuts represent roughly 2.5% of Qualcomm’s workforce and mark the second round of layoffs for the wireless semiconductor company this year.
The Qualcomm layoff news comes about a month after the company announced a deal with Apple to provide 5G chips through at least 2026. Qualcomm is also the chip supplier for the newly announced Meta Quest 3. It is only 1 of 2 companies that sell 5G end point silicon on the merchant market (Taiwan based MediaTek is the other one).
It’s not a pretty picture to say the least for telecom industry employees.
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