Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg promises more for Networked Society

Telecom Lead @ Mobile World Congress 2013:
Ericsson President and CEO Hans Vestberg says its solutions for Networked Society will focus on superior network quality and performance.

Vestberg — addressing a press meet in Barcelona – predicted that the smartphone shipments will exceed 50 percent and mobile internet users will exceed fixed internet users.

READ Vestberg’s announcements during 2012 Mobile World Congress

In 2012, Vestberg reiterated its forecast that by 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices, noting that this will transform the world.

Ericsson’s partnership — announced today — with enterprise software provider SAP is for jointly marketing and selling cloud-based, machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions and services to enterprises via operators around the globe.

The solutions will be based on a combined software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering from Ericsson and SAP within M2M.

Ovum says Ericsson added to its flurry of recent announcements at this morning’s press conference at MWC 2013.

Today’s announcements follow similar themes to their predecessors (M2M and video) and fit neatly with Ericsson’s vision for the “networked society”. However, this is more than theory or a new product. Ericsson has revealed that operators are using the services, although in the case of M2M we question if there could be greater opportunities for Ericsson if it were to bypass operators, albeit at the risk of alienating its close customer relationships.

Steven Hartley, telco strategy analyst, Ovum, said: “The first announcement relates to M2M. Ericsson and SAP have combined to provide cloud-based management of M2M implementations.”

Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform & Service Enablement Platform is to be combined with SAP’s HANA platform in an offering to mobile operators that provides enterprises with end-to-end management of M2M solutions. Closer integration of the M2M operational ecosystem has been needed for many years and this is another sign that M2M is maturing.

“Significantly, operators were rolled out to boost the solution’s credibility – Telenor Connexion and 3UK on this occasion. However, the value added by the telco beyond connectivity strikes us as muted. As we have said in the past, there is certainly an opportunity for SAP and/or Ericsson to sell directly to enterprises and bring in appropriate operator support when necessary, although the risk to Ericsson’s extensive operator relationships will be a key barrier,” Hartley added

The second announcement – Ericsson’s Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) to deliver broadcast video over LTE – also comes with operator support. Ericsson’s Consumer Labs found that 67 percent of consumers use mobile devices to consume TV services, so managing the traffic efficiently is vital for profitability and the customer experience. Significantly, Ericsson announced that Verizon Wireless will launch the service in 2014, while Telstra will trial the solution later this year.

Ericsson President and CEO Hans Vestberg

READ Mobile World Congress 2013 HERE

According to Vestberg, the industry will see more pricing models – tiered, shared, and bundled, as well as further expansion into digital services to find new revenues.

In 2013, LTE subscriptions will exceed 100 million, he said.

LTE Broadcast  — Verizon Wireless and Telstra are its customers — is Ericsson’s new offering for operators and their media partners to capture new revenues, by providing premium services with guaranteed quality and cost-efficient delivery over LTE.

By the end of Q4 2012, Ericsson had supplied more than 60 live commercial LTE networks on all continents.

About 50 percent of all smartphone traffic on LTE runs through Ericsson networks.

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