Connectivity increases relevance, says Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg
First keynote for Ericsson at world's foremost consumer electronics trade fair
Announced industry-changing deal with the world's largest shipping line
Collaboration with MIT to look at how network traffic portrays human connections
Doing business in the Networked Society requires opportunity and creativity, and Ericsson's (NASDAQ:ERIC, news, filings) President and CEO Hans Vestberg offered new deals and proof points in his premier keynote appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Vestberg described the potential inherent in intelligent, real-time communication when devices learn to manage simple tasks to help us through our daily lives. "When you start to use the combination of software, sensors, and hardware, then you can improve processes and enable new ideas to turn into business. The result will be greater than anyone can imagine," Vestberg told the audience of thousands in the room. The keynote was also webcast live on www.cesweb.org.
Vestberg listed the advantages that the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) industry can bring to other industries. In particular, Ericsson can ensure that any device can be identified, can communicate with payment systems, preference systems, and send and receive relevant information in real-time. The benefits can be realized in business as well as personal contexts.
"Our role is to make connectivity everywhere and in real-time possible. Your role is to innovate on top of that, and perhaps come up with consumer devices that will be launched here at CES in one, two or five years," he told the show attendees in Las Vegas.
Then, Vestberg described cases in which Ericsson is changing communication, in the realms of gaming, personal transportation, and shipping. An agreement with Maersk Line, the world's largest shipping company, was introduced onstage.
Maersk Line and Ericsson have developed a unique GSM and satellite solution that will offer connectivity in the last unexplored territory in modern communications: the sea. The possibilities are endless for the shipping industry, and Maersk Line will lead the way in exploring the possible improvements that will result from this collaboration.
"The implementation of this network will represent a noticeable improvement in connectivity at sea, and we look forward to exploring the benefits this will bring to Maersk Line and our customers in the future" said Mike White, President of Maersk Line Inc, who was onstage with Vestberg to present the deal.
He described the company's ambition of a more customer focused way of doing business, striving for reliability, and making business easier for its customers.
More information on this deal is available at www.ericsson.com/press.
The emotional aspect of the Networked Society was highlighted with the appearance of Christopher Mikkelsen, one of the co-founders of Refugees United. Ericsson partners with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and operator MTN to enable a global, secure search engine for displaced people looking for loved ones. 65-thousand people are now registered on the service.
In his finale, Vestberg invited onstage Professor Carlo Ratti of MIT's Senseable Cities Lab to introduce a collaboration between Ericsson and MIT that will aim to reveal patterns of human behavior by looking at volumes in mobile data traffic. "The network is not an abstract concept - rather it allows us to connect and come together. We can use it for work and leisure - and, as the collaboration between Ericsson and MIT will show - as a tool to reflect and better understand ourselves," said Ratti.
Vestberg wrapped up his CES appearance by demonstrating new technology, so-called "capacitive coupling," in which a photograph was transferred from a telephone, then hand-to-hand, through the human body, to the large screen without using radio signals. "Ultimately, we are the network," he said in describing the research project. Vestberg added that it's hard to predict exactly how the Networked Society will shape up, but that we can be prepared by embracing the new mindset and enabling new solutions.
Notes to editors:
An on-demand video of the keynote will be posted at http://www.cesweb.org/news/multimedia-gallery.asp
Photos to be taken on-site and made available at www.ericsson.com/press
Our multimedia content, including a video summary of the keynote, is available at the broadcast room: www.ericsson.com/press
Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 2 billion subscribers and has the leading position in managed services. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.
Ericsson is advancing its vision of being the "prime driver in an all-communicating world" through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 180 countries, more than 90,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 203.3 billion (USD 28.2 billion) in 2010. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ New York.
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