Ericsson predicts 50B connected devices by 2020

BARCELONA, Spain--During Ericsson's press conference today at Mobile World Congress, CEO Hans Vestberg said that his company predicts that there will be 50 billion wirelessly connected devices by 2020. Vestberg added that these devices will be connected via HSPA and LTE and will be used for both machine-to-machine applications and consumer devices.

Ericsson also expects another 3 billion mobile broadband PC subscribers in the next five years, joining the 4.6 billion mobile broadband customers that subscribe to the service today. "We forecast that by 2015 mobile PC subscriptions will have grown six times and the traffic generated will grow more than 50 times compared with the end of 2009," Vestberg said.

The newly appointed CEO also touted the company's inroads in North America, announced the firm was demonstrating LTE at speeds of 1 Gbps, and said that it will launch an application store for operators to sell applications to end users. Specifically, Vestberg said that the company will be providing operators with assistance setting up an application store for their customers. The eStore, which will be white-labeled, already has more than 30,000 paid and free applications that are downloadable to any phone. During the press conference, Vestberg emphasized that the goal of the eStore it to help carriers launch their own branded stores. In addition, he said that the company will not be approving applications for the store, and that those types of decisions will be made by the operator. Ericsson will, however, help engage developers to make applications.

Vestberg also said that the company is well positioned in the North America market thanks to its deals it accomplished in 2009 and early in 2010. Specifically, he noted AT&T Mobility's announcement last week that it had selected Ericsson as one of its vendors for its LTE network. That agreement, coupled with the firm's existing LTE deal with Verizon Wireless and its network management arrangement with Sprint Nextel, has made the company a significant player in North America.  Angel Ruiz, the vendor's head of the North American operations, added that Ericsson has expanded its North American employees from 1,500 to 14,000 to accommodate all this new business.

On the LTE front, Vestberg noted that the company will be demonstrating LTE using multi-carrier technology and MIMO that will provide speeds of up to 1 Gbps. The demonstrations are for four carriers of 20 MHz each.  In addition, the company will be showcasing 84 Mbps HSPA service at the conference. Operator 3 in Scandinavia has announced that it will deploy Ericsson's HSPA 84 Mbps in its network in Denmark in first quarter with commercial deployment by the first half of 2011.

For more:
- see this press release on LTE demos
- and this press release
- and this eStore release

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