Ericsson head of business area Networks Fredrik Jejdling cited its huge AT&T deal as demonstrating its focus on open network architecture, as he discussed the need for the vendor to compete in a different way given expected market evolutions.

Speaking at the company’s pre-MWC Barcelona 2024 event involving a spate of announcements from its various divisions, he highlighted changes to the infrastructure market including a move towards cloudification and potential around open interfaces.

“We will continue investing in building the best baseband radios in the world, but we’ll have to compete in a different way in the future,” he said.

However, the executive noted network evolution would be a multi-year process, explaining “IT wasn’t cloudified overnight and neither will networks be, particularly with the performance criteria our customers require”.

“We see the industry moving away from the traditional set-up with networks divided into geographical areas with vertically integrated stacks, towards a horizontal architecture with vendor diversity across the layers of the architecture, including for radio units and a single vendor for the programmable software layer.”

Open focus
On its vaunted AT&T project, Jejdling described it as “a vote of confidence in our technological leadership to deliver and partner”, adding “it also demonstrates our focus on open networks will only grow”.

During an interview with Mobile World Live, he explained the agreement had sparked a lot of industry and customer interest, with the company being asked “what’s it all about” and enquiries about “how can you help us”.

“There’s a lot of discussion about the deal because of the size, but also around if you look under the hood what is it?” 

He explained it was “about securing, building and leaving them [AT&T] with an open network that they believe is more valuable for them”.  

During the event, Ericsson also presented its latest range of products and announcements set to be presented at MWC24 later this month.

It is set to showcase 12 new and upgraded hardware and software products within its radio, transport and antenna range. 

Ericsson noted its latest generations had a focus on improved performance, sustainability and are open RAN compatible.

It also unveiled new capabilities for its cognitive software portfolio using so-called explainable AI, claimed to improve RAN optimisation. Other new releases include a service orchestration and assurance product, which can be used as part of its network slicing offering.  

Elsewhere, its Cradlepoint division inked a deal with waste management digital platform provider SmartSort Technologies to supply mobile routers to power AI-enabled recycling bins designed for public locations such as office sites and stadia.

The division also released its X10 5G router for FWA deployments in SMEs claimed to allow service providers to offer one day connectivity to business customers.

Cloud division Vonage revealed an initiative designed to push network API access to third parties including developers. 

It will also collaborate with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer APIs through the latter’s marketplace.

Ericsson’s various upgrades will be showcased at its huge stand at MWC Barcelona 2024, starting on 26 February.

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