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February-April 2020

Ericsson reveals plans for 5G, IoT – and self-driving buses

Welcome to Sweden’s Silicon Valley, says the taxi driver as we pull into the headquarters of Ericsson, in Stockholm, Sweden. 5G – as well as artificial intelligence (AI), automation and big data − is widely seen as one of the most important new technologies for the next decade. In 2019, telecom equipment makers and telecom operators began to introduce 5G networks in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the US. This year, according to research company Gartner, the global market for 5G wireless network infrastructure will be worth $4.2bn (£3.2bn), a year-on-year increase of 89%. One way to ease the roll-out is through spectrum-sharing technology – which allows telecom operators to run 4G and 5G simultaneously, via a software upgrade. It can limit costs and technical challenges. South Korea and China are at the forefront of 5G use. And when asked about how it will compete with leading telecoms network company Huawei, an Ericsson spokesperson gives the classic corporate “non answer” about welcoming any competition. You sense...

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