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Ericsson engages Africa's operators on MWC innovations

Ericsson engages Africa's operators on MWC innovations

Ericsson says it is in talks with African operators about the rollout of 5G, IoT and cloud as the company presents insight into its deployments and shares details of the impact on society at the four-day Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 in Barcelona.

Anders Lindblad, Head Business Unit of Cloud and IP at Ericsson spoke to ITWeb Africa ahead of MWC 2016. "I think it is very exciting to go to Mobile World Congress. It is always a good opportunity for us to compare notes with the industry about what we are innovating about. From a cloud and IP perspective we are really keen to show the momentum around telecom core - what is happening in the transformation from circuit switch to voice connectivity network. That is being transformed through a full IP, full cloud network core network that will eventually support 5G use cases, internet of things and actually realising what we are preaching about a networked society."

Lindblad says Ericsson will share details on its latest partnership with Cisco and other industry players and operators during MWC 2016.

"We are also showcasing what the collaboration with Cisco means. It is a very interesting market solution that bring Ericsson's system knowledge and solution, our products and Cisco products and service capabilities together. We will also showcase workload management solutions that include building data centres in a new way as a follow up what we showed last year with Intel and the HDS 8000 family - the evolution of that and how we are expanding on that."

Ericsson announced a partnership with Vodafone last week to research 5G technologies and prepare the Vodafone network for a transition to the mobile standard by 2020.

Lindblad says discussions around on the topic are taking place on the African continent as well. "5G, from a frequency and radio perspective, is going to be an ongoing evolution over the next five years where we have different releases coming out defining the spectrum. 5G networks on the core side, which may be more relevant in the short term, is where we are engaging with African operators - and that is an extremely interesting aspect where the concepts of virtualization and IP-fication bring a lot of cost benefits as well as opportunities to market for operators in Africa."

Lindblad says advanced discussions with African operators have provided operators with more insight and have highlighted real opportunities to leapfrog using these technologies.

While he avoided continent and country comparisons, the Ericsson executive acknowledged that different conditions in each geographical location have an impact on the opportunities for digital transformation.

MWC 2016 will host several African industry leaders including the CEO and Co-Founder of M-KOPA Solar Jesse Moore as well as A4AI Honorary Chairperson and former Minister of Communication Technology in Nigeria Dr. Omobola Johnson who will take part in a discussion on inclusion of women in mobile.

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