A networked society will develop over the next 10 to 12 years that will see everything that can benefit connected to the network, Ericsson chief Hans Vestberg predicts.
"Over the last 20 years we have deployed mobile and broadband networks across the world. Over the next 20 years, we'll use those networks in ways we never thought about - that's where the 50 billion connections we've talked about comes into play.
“Some of the biggest challenges on Earth can be addressed with the networked society, things like health care, education and CO2 emissions."
He pointed to projections showing data consumption will expand 25-fold after 2015, with video accounting for the majority of the increase, and noted many believe smartphones will generate the same amount of traffic as PCs by 2016.
Rising traffic is good for the digital economy, the Ericsson chief noted, pointing to Arthur D. Little research that shows 80 new jobs are created for every 1,000 broadband connections, and that a 10% increase in broadband penetration boosts GDP 1%.
These figures have made many governments think more seriously out infrastructure beyond just roads. The three driving forces behind this move, Vestberg said, are mobility, broadband and the cloud.
But "we won't see the three components coming together to create a networked society with the transformative power to impact society," unless networks are scalable, smart and offer high performance, he noted.
To get there Ericsson has launched an M2M cloud-based platform as well as a new antenna integrated radio (AIR), which Vestberg said uses 42% less power and can be reduce installation time by a third.
And to help service providers gain greater control of the end-user's internet experience, Ericsson announced a deal to work with Akamai to offer mobile broadband acceleration services. He said the idea is to bring costs down for operators while offering secure deliver to devices.
“Combining the power of Akamai’s global network, with 83,000 servers, with Ericsson’s mobile expertise will allow the industry to reinvent the way it works with content and application providers,” Akamai president David Kenny said.
Vestberg said the two companies will jointly develop tools to accelerate delivery of content and apps over mobile networks.
They have tested it with content providers and plan to start working with select service providers in the next six months.