CES 2012: Ericsson focusing on 'networked society' after Sony

Ericsson lays out its game plan for the future in the communications business without help from Sony.

LAS VEGAS -- Now that Ericsson is on its own after parting from Sony after a 10-year partnership, the company's keynote presentation at CES 2012 on Wednesday was a chance for the Swedish company to present its strategy for the future.

See also: CES 2012: ZDNet’s news and product coverageCES 2012: CNET’s news and product coverage

However, that future still looks a little cloudy.

The overall plan is what CEO Hans Vestberg described as building a completely connected, "networked society." Reiterating that there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020, this concept really is within our grasp.

Vestberg rattled off some of the winners who stand to become more prosperous with a connected society, including the gaming, healthcare and education industries.

Vestberg also posited that one of the hurdles, which Ericsson is working on, is boosting the speeds of these networks, which has the potential to ncrease GDP by 0.3 percent.

Interestingly, some of Ericsson's new partners don't exactly seem like typical players at CES. Nonetheless, Vestberg revealed new alliances with Maersk Shipping, Refugees United, and MIT.

While building a networked society is obviously a giant (and ultimately necessary) initiative, Ericsson didn't have anything really tangible to unveil. At a trade show that is for debuting new consumer products, that is curious -- and worrisome -- that Ericsson didn't do this, especially so soon after it was announced that Ericsson would be working alone in the heavily crowded and volatile mobile device market.

Thus, it looks like Ericsson is pushing away from consumer electronics, which is completely fine and probably for the best considering that it's really difficult to make a buck off of consumer products right now.



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