Ericsson CEO talks future of the company, 'networked society'

Ericsson's CEO and president discusses how broadband, mobility, and the cloud will change industries and society overall during the next five years.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO -- Broadband, mobility, and the cloud are three areas where Ericsson is focusing the bulk of its resources for the near future, according to the global enterprise's president and CEO, Hans Vestberg, while speaking at a media event on Tuesday afternoon.

These areas taken together, he posited, are changing and redefining different behaviors throughout society.

"We call that the 'networked society,'" said Vestberg. "Anything that will be connected will be connected in the future."

See also: Ericsson: 3G, 4G networks to blanket most of the world by 2017

Earlier on Tuesday, Ericsson published a report that found 3G networks will cover 85 percent of the world's population by 2017, with 4G/LTE networks also covering at least 50 percent of the globe.

Vestberg remarked that there are still many people worldwide who don't have mobile Internet access today, so Ericsson wants to at least "triplicate" the number of people with mobile Internet coverage in next five years.

Vestberg reminded the audience that it was only "three to four years ago that we didn't have a smartphone," describing that's how quickly things can change. Vestberg added that the enterprise sector is one area where we could see the most transformation using real-time information provided by mobile broadband and the cloud.

One way Ericsson plans to go about this is diversifying its customer base. Vestberg explained that Ericsson plans to serve many more select industry verticals beyond direct operators when it comes to mobile broadband, ranging from public safety organizations to utility companies to handset and device makers.

Ola Rembe, head of Ericsson's global public and media relations team, commented that the purpose of Tuesday's media event was to explain where Ericsson is today, key trends in the industry, and what Ericsson is doing to meet those trends.

Ericsson currently has 100,000 employees in 180 countries with over 30,000 patents in its portfolio. Furthermore, approximately 30 percent of all mobile traffic and 50 percent of smartphone traffic are said to be going through Ericsson equipment.

Other recent developments include the acquisition of Bel-Air and the integration of Telcordia -- not to mention the end of the Sony Ericsson partnership in the mobile phone market.

Ericsson might not be hurting too hard from that breakup just yet as Vestberg cited that the company's market share for mobile infrastructure has grown from 32 percent to 38 percent over the last few quarters.


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