Telecom network resilience stands out in Covid-19: Ericsson Mobility Report

Ericsson has released the Ericsson Mobility Report (EMR) in India.

Speaking to a virtual audience, Patrik Cerwell, Head of Strategic Marketing, Ericsson, said that there have been Covid-19 data usage and trends. We are doing the 18th EMR. Network traffic loads shifted from city centers to suburban areas very quickly. Eg., Paris, France. People started to WFH. There were also changes in the mobile data traffic levels in the Paris area, two weeks before and after lockdown, in mid-March.

Impact of lockdown
Lockdown restrictions had an impact on mobile and fixed networks. Data traffic increased due to the higher usage of streaming services. Some SPs experienced network congestion. There was also an increase of 20-70% in voice due to more and longer calls. There was upto 98% increase in voice-over-WiFi calls for some SPs. Networks are overall coping well during the pandemic.

The ICT resilience has helped consumers navigate the crisis. Of those over 60+ and highly impacted by Covid-19, 89% (74%) agree that reliable video calling helped them stay in touch with family and friends. Despite traffic surge, networks have stayed strong. 71% (56%) in India were very satisfied with fixed broadband performance.

ICT has helped consumers navigate the crisis. 8 out of 10 having high impact claim that ICT is easing the burden on the work situation in India. Connectivity and devices have helped people a lot in their daily lives. In 2025, there will be 2.8 billion 5G subscriptions. 190 million 5G subscribers are expected by the end of 2020. 75% of SPs around the world have already switched to 5G. It is expected that 5G will carry nearly half of the world’s mobile data traffic by 2025.

Focus on India
India currently has the highest average monthly usage per smartphone today. Around 410 million additional smartphone users are expected in India by 2025. In North America, future monthly GB growth in 5G depends on the 5G service adoption. There will be 18% of mobile subscriptions in India for 5G by 2025.

Consumers predicted five broad trends for a post Covid-19 world that will aceelerate technologies, such as 5G, AI, and automation, edge cloud, and XR. Disruption from Covid-19 has highlighted the value of a digital infrastructure in today’s society. These are:

Network redefined: Network resilience is valued by 85% (75%) in India, who say that the Internet connectivity is the most critical during this crisis, and also, future crises.

Autonomous commerce: 77% (55%) in India believe that automated delivery drones or fleets of driverless cars might replace delivery people as demand for contact-free interactions increases.

Borderless workspaces: 79% (62%) workers in India say that working remotely will be the new normal. Employers will encourage remote working as the fundamental business practice.

Synchronous care: 73% (57%) in India believe that online healthcare consultations will become more popular.

Virtual experience economy: 82% (71%) of VR users in India say that with more time spent online, virtual symbols will drive status, rather than physical ownership of goods. 75% (50%) of consumers in India predict they will turn to AI-powered online virtual companions to entertain, educate and befriend them during times of isolation.

WFH will be on top of many people’s minds.

Power of 5G
Nitin Bansal, MD, India & Head, Networks, South East Asia, Oceania and India, Ericsson spoke about power of 5G to drive new business.

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He said that Ericsson has 93 commercial 5G agreements, 40 live networks, 40+ devices have been supported across 5G networks, and shipped 5 million 5G hardware-prepared radios since 2015, so far. We have rolled out networks everywhere. There are key enablers in the Ericsson 5G platform. These are carrier aggregation, spectrum sharing, dual-mode 5G Core, massive MIMO, site efficiency, distributed cloud, network slicing, and AI/ML support.

Cell range extension has increased by 60%. There is wide area 5G coverage that has been quickly realized. 5G launches in 2019, have exceeded expectations. So have adoption and data usage. There is also a positive APRU+ financial impact. There are lot of 5G consumer use case offerings as examples.

The need for secure networks have gone up. 5G is used by devices, sensors, industries, etc. Security and privacy have been built-in, and there is a security philosophy for new business context. There is automated security management and end-to-end security architecture.

The telecom network is a foundation for business innovation. There are new capabilities in the network, unlocking new enterprise services. These are network slicing, cloud-native networks, etc. There is also an evolved telecom network security. There is also an immense industrial opportunity. For industries, the RoI for moving to cellular-enabled Industry 4.0 is strong. Warehouse operators are ready for industry 4.0 to transform how things are distributed.  Ericsson also provides reliable wireless connectivity. There are many other examples of 5G for industries.

There is significant 5G-enabled revenue potential across as many as 10 industries. The smart factory@Ericsson at Nanjing, China, is an early start. Over 1,000 high-precision screwdrivers are in use. The use cases are also evolving. These could be AGV, control and optimization, etc.

Ericsson also built a new 5G smart factory in the USA. It has warehouse automation, material handling automation, automated final assembly line, automated over-the-air test stations and digital stations, etc. Use case examples include real-time automation, autonomous robotics, AR, enhanced video services, etc. We are driving innovation across the ecosystem, beyond 5G.

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