Image source: Ericsson
Global telecommunications giant, Ericsson, is planning to switch on 5G globally in 2019, according to its President and CEO, Börje Ekholm.
Ericsson announced 5G deals with 10 named service provider customers on Monday, as it hosted the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona.
The company, which had a market value of $26.1 billion in 2018 according to Forbes, is currently rolling out 5G networks in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia—with the US and Asia leading in 5G development.
“Consumers and enterprises are waiting for 5G,” said Ekholm. “A third of smartphone users globally will change either immediately or within six months to a service provider that switches on 5G.”
According to Ékholm, the first beneficiaries of 5G will be mobile broadband consumers with the capacity to make use of new gaming and sporting apps that implement augmented and virtual reality. In time 5G will also impact the industrial internet, including in mobile robotics and all-electric, autonomous vehicles.
Ericsson’s Radio System hardware has been 5G-ready since 2015. The company has already shipped more than three million 5G-ready radios to its customers worldwide. “Our unique Ericsson Spectrum Sharing is the most economically feasible way to introduce 5G in existing bands achieving immediate nationwide coverage,” said Ekholm.
Ericsson also intends to acquire German manufacturer Kathrein’s antenna and filters business for mobile networks. Kathrein is the world's oldest and largest antenna manufacturer, valued at $1.8 billion in 2015.