At the 2010 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Ericsson President and CEO Hans Vestberg announced a partnership with operator AT&T to bring Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to the U.S. market. Ericsson also debuted an application store boasting more than 30,000 applications.
Telecommunications giant Ericsson's President and CEO
Hans Vestberg laid out the company's agenda at a press conference in Barcelona's
during the opening day of Mobile World Congress, highlighting the importance of
mobilizing all the company's assets across all markets, particularly emerging
markets such as China
The company also announced a deal with network operator AT&T to bring a
Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to customers in the United
AT&T said it is planning field trials of LTE technology later this year,
with commercial deployment scheduled to begin in 2011. AT&T previously
named Ericsson as a key supplier for wireline access products and services. To
date, Ericsson has signed commercial LTE contracts with four other global
operators, two of which are in the United States.
LTE enables a faster transfer of data by enhancing use of the frequency
spectrum, resulting in increased speed and decreased latency.
"The announcement is an important step forward in our ongoing mobile broadband
strategy, which is focused on delivering the best possible combination of
speed, performance and available devices for customers at every level of
technology deployment," said AT&T's President and CEO
of AT&T Operations John Stankey. "AT&T has a key advantage in that LTE
is an evolution of the existing GSM family of technologies that powers our
network and the vast majority of the world's global wireless infrastructure
Vestberg predicted that by 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices
across a worldwide mobile network, which will change business models as well as
the demands of consumers. "We will see a big switch from voice to data demand,"
he said. "The most important thing is cooperation between players in our
industry: Our ability to work together to meet the demands of a rapidly
changing market has been a crucial element."
Ericsson also announced an application store for all handset users called
eStore. It serves as a marketplace where operators can set up and offer mobile
phone users an application store with more than 30,000 applications
downloadable to any mobile handset. Some of the applications are free to
download, while others can be paid via a prepay system or via the user's phone
bill. Ericsson partner Opera Software ASA provides the client framework for
widgets and applications across multiple channels and devices. Vestberg
described the venture as an open landscape-style store with a traditional
Ericsson also used the convention to showcase a live demo of LTE/4G with
speeds of 1GB per second in the downlink. The demonstration utilized Multi
Carrier technology and Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) and ran on
Ericsson commercial LTE hardware. The demonstration used four carriers of 20MHz
each, totally 80MHz and 4x4 MIMO, where data is sent over the air interface on
four independent bit streams.
When it comes to spectrum allocation and rollout in the United States and
Europe, Vestberg was more vague, saying the issue was broad, noting that
countries like Germany and Sweden had already decided on the issue but for
other countries it may take a few years. "Technology is the most important
asset we have, and this is the new light bulb," he said, holding up a mobile
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.