Displaying items by tag: Ericsson
Ericsson has published its latest ConsumerLab report, From Healthcare to Homecare. The report reveals consumer insights into the impact of 5G on the future of healthcare and its transformation across preventative, routine, and post-operative care.
The report states that next-generation networks will be pivotal in healthcare transformation, providing transmission efficiency in an ecosystem of feedback and alerts, mobility and low latency. The networks will become a vehicle for a range of applications, including remote monitoring through medical-grade wearables, virtual doctor-patient interaction, and remotely operated robotic surgery.
Key findings include the decentralization of healthcare moving from hospitals towards homes. Also, that patient data is becoming more centralized, turning hospitals into data centers. Increasing dependence on wearables and remote treatments makes 5G essential to provide reliable and secure services. Evolving consumer expectations, anytime patient data access, and increased internet use are also making way for non-traditional players to disrupt the healthcare industry.
This report covers insights from an online survey of 4,500 advanced smartphone/mobile broadband users in Germany, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US plus an online survey of 900 decision makers across six industries in these countries – healthcare, insurance, medical technology companies, telecom operators, app developers/aggregators and government regulatory bodies.
Thai communications provider True has awarded Ericsson the world's first major Dual Band Dot to deploy indoor networks across Thailand to improve indoor connectivity. True will install these Dots from May 2017, focusing on the northern, southern, and central regions of Thailand. The first deployments will be in hospitals, shopping malls, and hotels.
The Dual Band Dot, part of the Ericsson Radio Dot System, enables a simple deployment that is fully integrated with the outdoor macro network. The Dual Band Dot enables multi-band deployments and Carrier Aggregation, which is important in 5G readiness.
"In building coverage is very crucial to the success of mobile operator. It not only creates customer satisfaction but also becomes the competitive advantage to differentiate from competitors,” said Pakpong Akaniwan, Chief Technology Officer at True. “Ericsson radio dot system provides flexibility of installation, less footprint and fast time to provide in building coverage. The dual band and carrier aggregation capabilities provides capacity and customer experience that we need when we need it".
Nadine Allen, Head of Ericsson Thailand, says: "Thailand is among the leaders in ICT adoption in South East Asia, with Thai consumers being heavy users of mobile broadband and ICT applications. Having good connectivity in large indoor areas hence becomes critical for the mobile subscribers. With the Dual Band Dot, Ericsson is providing True with the industry's most cost-effective and modular high performance indoor radio system, addressing a wider range of indoor environments with a common solution."
Ericsson Nikola Tesla, an affiliate of Ericsson Group in Central and Eastern Europe, and BH Telecom, a leading operator in Bosnia and Herzegovina, are continuing their partnership with a contract to extend an OSS implementation to the service provider's fixed network.
Implementation will start immediately and the new solution will enable the rapid introduction and delivery of fixed services. The project is expected to be completed during 2018.
“As the leader in telecommunications in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we have successfully cooperated with Ericsson Nikola Tesla on projects to modernize our network,” said Mirsad Zaimović, General Manager at BH Telecom. “This contract continues the cooperation by expanding our Operations Support System to BH Telecom’s fixed network, enabling a higher service quality for our users."
In Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant report, Ericsson was declared a leader in the OSS segment for the fifth year in a row.
“As a long-term partner, BH Telecom, has recognized Ericsson's leading position in the OSS segment as well as the strength and knowledge of Ericsson Nikola Tesla’s expert teams,” said Gordana Kovačević, President of Ericsson Nikola Tesla. “BH Telecom has entrusted us with the implementation of this significant project as part of the digital transformation of their company.”
On May 15, 2017, Ericsson signed an MoU with China Mobile’s Government and Enterprise Customers Branch and Mobike for a smart travel partnership under the “Belt and Road” framework. The partnership is a response to the government’s call for green travel and the “Belt and Road” initiative which aims to improve the overall service level of smart travel and drive the global collaboration and development of the bicycle-sharing industry.
Wei Bing, Deputy General Manager of China Mobile’s Government and Enterprise Customers Branch, Zhao Juntao, President of Ericsson China, and Wang Xiaofeng, co-founder and CEO of Mobike, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective company. Anna Johansson, Minister for Infrastructure, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Sweden, who was visiting China for the ongoing 2017 “Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation” in Beijing, and Anna Lindstedt, Swedish Ambassador to China, attended the signing ceremony, and also paid a visit to the Beijing office of Mobike.
At the end of last year, Ericsson, China Mobile Shanghai Company, and Mobike completed an industry-first end-to-end application trial based on live cellular IoT network in Shanghai. The signing of this MoU indicates that the three parties will further explore deep collaboration in digital services and accelerate the application of the new IoT technologies as well as global IoT operations.
According to the MoU, the specific areas for collaboration include:
- Optimize the existing IoT solution for bicycle sharing and jointly develop key technologies for the next generation travel. The three parties will pilot the application of the new IoT technologies in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Sichuan, and jointly optimize the end-to-end IoT solution for bicycle sharing, to improve user experience, and to promote the maturing of the bicycle-sharing ecosystem.
- Jointly explore the big data on travel and work together to drive the global collaboration for bicycle sharing. The three parties will promote information sharing and explore smart travel solutions. They will respond to the call of the government’s “Belt and Road” initiative, provide cooperation for the global strategic expansion of Mobike, and jointly develop the one-stop global IoT solution, so as to build a global IoT connection platform that is convenient and easy to use.
- Improve the digital service level in smart transportation. They will work together to develop digital service applications for smart travel and improve the overall digital service level of smart travel.
- Integrate the best resources of each party and work together to explore business models for co-marketing. The three parties will work together to explore innovative business models such as how to exchange points and how to launch co-branded cards, so as to achieve a win-win result for all.
Wei Bing, Deputy General Manager of China Mobile’s Government and Enterprise Customers Branch, said: “China Mobile is keen to collaborate with bicycle-sharing service providers and supports the effort of Mobike to launch smart and connected locks, so as to enable the real-time network connection and real-time interaction of bicycles for sharing. By signing the MoU today, we will join hands with Mobike and Ericsson to accelerate the application of the key IoT technologies as well as the global IoT operations and provide green, safe and shared travel services.”
Zhao Juntao, President of Ericsson China, said: “In order to promote the application of IoT technologies in a wider range of areas and grow the IoT ecosystem, Ericsson is willing to work together with our long-term partner China Mobile and our innovation partner Mobike to explore new models, to create new opportunities, and to seek a win-win result for all. We believe that our breakthrough collaboration for smart travel will help to accelerate the large-scale commercial deployment of IoT in China starting from bicycle sharing.”
Swedish telecoms equipment giant Ericsson suffered an “unsatisfactory and mixed” Q1, says CEO Borje Ekholm, as the vendor recorded a net loss of SEK10.9 billion ($1.2 billion) and an 11 percent year-on-year decline in sales. Ekholm said during a conference call that the company’s performance has been affected by restructuring costs, as well as a faster than anticipated decline in sales of its legacy portfolio.
Ericsson is going to increase its cost-saving efforts, according to the company’s earnings call which the CEO participated in. He said Ericsson also needs to increase the speed of its new product pipeline and business development initiatives. Ericsson will be assessing its contract procedures and discounts offered to customers, as part of an ongoing business review, to boost its margins.
The network business has been strong despite lower than expected sales, said the CEO, but the decline in Ericsson legacy media product sales and IT and Cloud business segments has made a significant impact. “It was tough, but it was mixed,” said Ekholm discussing Ericsson’s Q1 performance. “We have a very stable networks business that is performing well. We have IT and cloud and media with big significant losses. We are taking actions so we can turn that around and reach our long-term ambitions.”
In January, Ekholm pledged to guide the beleaguered company through what he labeled a “period of intense change”. The Swedish telecoms giant has endured some major setbacks, and was forced to lay off more than 3,000 of its Swedish staff last year. What’s more, the company has been forced to fight off bribery allegations after former executives of Ericsson told the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that they had engaged in multiple counts of bribery in different regions all over the world in an effort to secure major contracts.
However, Ekholm insisted that under his tenure the company will come through this intensely difficult period, and will emerge as an “even stronger leader” in the industry. In a statement, Ekholm pointed to Ericsson’s position in the development of 5G as a reason to be optimistic for the future, and reiterated his desire to return the company to success.
The company has suffered continued losses, in Q1 reporting SEK13.4 billion of restructuring costs, asset write-downs and what has been described as “provisions and adjustments related to certain customer projects.” Ericsson sales dropped from SEK2.2 billion in Q1 2016 to SEK46.4 billion in the recent quarter.
Ericsson says it is “not satisfied with the cost structure of the company and the existing cost and efficiency program is not yielding sufficient results.” The vendor said in a statement, “Based on current profitability, we will intensify our efforts to reduce cost with focus on structural changes to generate lasting efficiency gains and increase cost competitiveness.”
Eekholm expects the company will make a profit in 2018, with a target to double its underlying 2016 operating margin by 2019. Earlier this month Ericsson said it will “pursue a more focused business strategy to revitalize technology and market leadership, improve group profitability and enable customer success.” The overall strategy is to “enable service providers to expand their business across industries and into new profit pools.”
The company says it will drive the development of market-leading solutions, fully leveraging the potential of 5G, IoT and cloud. Restoring profitability is key for Ericsson and it will start by focusing the portfolio to fewer areas and securing effectiveness and efficiency in operations.
Ericsson also says it will increase emphasis on solutions across the company, combining products and services, to drive efficiency and better meet customer needs and requirements. This will also be reflected in a simplified organization. In parallel, Ericsson will accelerate investments both in R&D and services capabilities in selected core areas to ensure that it can offer customers leading solutions.
The Ericsson and Cisco partnership has secured its first agreement in Brazil, with the two companies working together to supply and install IP routers for Nextel. The key components in the combined offering include a combination of hardware from Cisco, and services and project management from Ericsson.
Nextel's IP network in Brazil will be strengthened to support traffic growth and improve performance on the mobile network.
"Ericsson and Cisco are already long-term suppliers to Nextel, and their alliance makes them good partners to strengthen our IP network,” said Jorge Braga, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Nextel. “We needed a powerful and intelligent solution to improve our IP network in Brazil, and that's what we have secured with this deal."
Eduardo Ricotta, Vice President, Ericsson Latin America and Caribbean, says: "Our teams complemented each other with the right approach, from network analysis and planning to systems integration and customer support from Ericsson, to selecting the right routers from Cisco, and finally implementation with Ericsson services. The partnership has delivered real value to Nextel in terms of delivering end-to-end IP solution to meet the operator's needs."
The deal includes Cisco routers (ASR9010), supply and installation, overall project management, and customer support.
"Together, Cisco and Ericsson have the best mix of engagement required to support operators like Nextel address data traffic challenges,” said Yvette Kanouff, SVP and GM, Service Provider Business, Cisco. “Working together on this project, we will support Nextel's mobile broadband offering and help them deliver better network performance for customers."
Ericsson and Cisco - two industry leaders in the development and delivery of networking, mobility, and cloud - formed a global business and technology partnership in November 2015 to create the networks of the future. The partnership offers customers the best of both companies: routing, data center, networking, cloud, mobility, management and control, and global services capabilities.
The next-generation strategic partnership will drive growth, accelerate innovation, and speed digital transformation demanded by customers across industries. To date, over 300 active customer engagements have now started to turn into won deals. More than 100 deals, spread around the world, are in IP (routing and transport) and services. The companies announced deals with 3 Italy, Vodafone Portugal, Aster Dominican Republic and Cable & Wireless in Caribbean in 2016 as well as with Telefónica Guatemala and Vodafone Hutchison Australia this year.
The Ericsson/Cisco partnership has been cleared by Brazilian regulatory authorities and will be implemented there under local agreements.
Ericsson has completed the first demonstration of 5G in Indonesia, including 5G test bed, 5G New Radio (NR) and use cases such as a motion-sensing robotic arm and live 4K video streaming.
The demonstration, which took place during a three-day event to celebrate Ericsson's 110th anniversary in Indonesia, achieved a peak downlink speed of 5.74 Gbps and latency as low as 3 ms.
"The current focus of our ICT development is to accelerate broadband rollout to all regions in Indonesia as well as to create a healthy ICT ecosystem to support the growth of other industries and enable the nation's competitiveness in the global landscape,” said Bapak Rudiantara, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Republic of Indonesia.
“Accelerating digitalization has always been high on the agenda in Indonesia. In this way, we contribute to realizing the government's NAWACITA vision to address nine key areas and so transform the country. Initiatives such as Ericsson's 5G showcase will power innovations and help transform technology infrastructure in Indonesia, bringing more opportunities to people, business and society."
Having pioneered the first four generations of mobile technologies in Indonesia, Ericsson demonstrated its commitment to deploying cutting-edge communications technologies and services locally by becoming the first company to showcase 5G in the country.
"For operators, 5G has the potential to offer 34 percent growth in revenues in 2026 compared to 2016. Meanwhile, consumers will be able to enjoy new applications like augmented reality and 4K video streaming and industries will benefit from innovative IoT applications such as smart transport and remote healthcare, creating significant opportunities,” said Thomas Jul, Head of Ericsson Indonesia.
“With 5G expected to be introduced around 2020 globally, Ericsson sees the need to support the government, telecom operators and industries in Indonesia to prepare for the launch of this next-generation technology."
Ericsson's 5G test bed includes all functionality required for pre-commercial trials and includes support for features such as beam forming and tracking, multi-user MIMO, multi-site transmission, ultra-lean design and dynamic TDD.
The low latency and high reliability of 5G, coupled with intelligence residing in the cloud, will enable enhanced human-to-machine communication. Ericsson demonstrated this in Indonesia with a motion-sensing robot arm that participants could control in real time using hand and finger motions. Such applications could be used in a myriad of tasks, including remote surgery, road accident management and scenarios in which human presence might be unsafe.
Ericsson also demonstrated the ability of 5G to support 4K video streaming. 4K content was streamed from a server to a radio base station and then relayed to 5G user equipment and displayed on a 4K TV screen. Uninterrupted playback of 4K video requires a download speed of at least 15 Mbps.
With 5G radio, a single network cell will be able to support playback of 4K video by hundreds of simultaneous users. This technology will have the potential to meet the ever-increasing demand from consumers in Indonesia, where more than 20% of smartphone users access online video daily.
Other demonstrations during the three-day event included innovations in the areas of radio system evolution, industrialized cloud, connected industries and digital business solutions.
Ericsson says it will pursue a more focused business strategy to revitalize technology and market leadership, improve group profitability and enable customer success. The overall strategy is to enable service providers to expand their business across industries and into new profit pools.
The company says it will drive the development of market-leading solutions, fully leveraging the potential of 5G, IoT and cloud. Restoring profitability is key for Ericsson and it will start by focusing the portfolio to fewer areas and securing effectiveness and efficiency in operations.
Ericsson will increase emphasis on solutions across the company, combining products and services, to drive efficiency and better meet customer needs and requirements. This will also be reflected in a simplified organization. In parallel, Ericsson will also accelerate investments both in R&D and services capabilities in selected core areas to ensure that it can offer customers leading solutions.
"For some time Ericsson has been challenged on both technology and market leadership and the group strategy has not yielded expected returns,” said Börje Ekholm, Ericsson President and CEO. “In our strategy review we have listened carefully to customers around the world and made an in-depth analysis of our portfolio and performance. To enable us to immediately take action and move with speed in execution we are today outlining our path to restoring profitability and to lead with innovation and best in class solutions in areas we have decided to focus on."
Accelerate and increase investments in key areas in Networks to support a continued global rollout of 4G and establishing a leading position in 5G.
Ericsson plans to target the Network Rollout business on its own networks portfolio. Ericsson’s ambition is to optimize the end-to-end offering to address customers' needs. The work to improve profitability in this area will be further sharpened.
For the newly created Digital Services Business Area, including cloud based virtualized network infrastructure and applications, management and monetization software (OSS/BSS) and related services capabilities, the near term focus is on re-establishing profitability for Ericsson. As this area is strategically important to customers going forward, Ericsson says it will also selectively increase its investments to enable the company to be the partner of choice for customers on their journey to become digital service providers.
Ericsson plans to shift the IoT strategy from a systems-integration-led approach to a platform- and solutions-led strategy to better leverage its global scale and industry expertise. It will refocus Managed Services strategy with emphasis on automation, fully leveraging its global scale and OSS capabilities, to provide high-tech services and cost efficient operations. Ericsson will focus on turning business around from a negative result in 2016, addressing low- performing operations and contracts.
The company plans to explore strategic opportunities for the Media business while continuing to develop its media solutions, to enable the business to scale and succeed in the evolving media landscape. Ericsson’s media business consists of two parts, managed services and technology solutions. Ericsson will now create two separate units, Ericsson Broadcast & Media Services and Ericsson Media Solutions, to create a stronger operational focus.
Video traffic today constitutes over 50 percent of mobile data traffic globally, and is forecast to grow to 75 percent by 2022. Ericsson has built a strong and competitive portfolio and become a world leading supplier of TV & Media products and services.
As a consequence of its increased focus on software technology development within virtualized core networks and management and monetization software (OSS/BSS) Ericsson says it will explore strategic opportunities for the IT Cloud Infrastructure hardware business.
Ekholm continues: "With these changes I am confident that we will create the most intelligent and efficient networks, deliver the most competitive solutions and constantly innovate to enable our customers to succeed in a fully connected world."
In addition to the actions above, the company will continue its work to rationalize legacy portfolio and drive company-wide efficiency measures. Combined, these actions will establish a new and stronger earnings level for Ericsson.
Ekholm says: "While we will continue our work to take out cost at high pace with targets surpassing current ambitions, we will not guide on cost levels going forward as it is an isolated part of the profit and loss statement. With the actions announced today, and assuming stable market conditions, we foresee significant improvements already in 2018. And beyond that I am convinced that Ericsson, on a sustainable basis, can at least double the 2016 Group operating margin, excluding restructuring charges. But even more importantly, I think that we can deliver a return on capital employed that will create value for our shareholders."
Broadband is the “most important technology” today because of the transformation to society that it can bring, said Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Ericsson’s SVP and Chief Sustainability Officer, at the launch of Ericsson’s Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report at MWC 2017. Using the UN SDGs as a framework, the report highlights how the telecommunications industry can positively evolve through use of responsible business practices, reducing energy consumption through 5G, and providing internet for all.
“At Ericsson, we start with our commitment to responsible business which is to us the very foundation of the company,” said Ms. Weidman-Grunewald at the press briefing. “We believe in making sure that our standards are high on an ethical level. We work a lot with anti-corruption, occupational work and safety, and responsible sourcing methods, to make sure that the entire value chain meets high ethical standards.”
Ericsson’s work with sustainability and corporate responsibility is as much about embracing opportunities as tackling global sustainability challenges, Ms. Weidman-Grunewald says in the new report. Ericsson uses the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to measure its impact on society. One of the most important initiatives Ms. Weidman-Grunewald spoke of to meet the UN SDGs was Ericsson’s commitment to bringing internet to all through broadband.
“How will governments deliver education if it’s not digital? How will you reach every child if we don’t use internet and if we don’t use the advantages of mobile broadband? Mobile broadband is the most important technology because of the transformation to society that it can bring,” said Ms. Weidman-Grunewald.
When it comes to binging an additional 4 billion people online, Ms. Weidman-Grunewald strongly believes that broadband will be “instrumental” she says in the report. The fastest and most cost-effective way to do this, she says, is to enable cost efficiency upgrades from 2G to 3G and 4G. Ericsson advocates strongly on “how ICT can help shape more sustainable societies” and the company engages in “public-private partnerships to advance shared aims and vision,” Ms. Weidman-Grunewald says.
In 2016, Ericsson launched a new suite of mobile broadband solutions for which total cost of ownership has been reduced by up to 40 percent. This makes investments in mobile broadband viable in markets where average revenue per use is low, helping to grow the reach of 3G and 4G and making the internet available to more people.
Ericsson’s Technology for Good initiatives now positively impact 89 million people through programs like Connect To Learn and Ericsson Response, which Ms. Weidman-Grunewald leads. The Connect To Learn global education initiative has been launched in 23 countries and benefits more than 80,000 students.
In 2016, Ericsson made significant progress in its Connect To Learn project in Myanmar. 155 teachers from all 31 schools successfully completed the first stage of their training, which allows them to begin integrating ICT into their classroom teaching, and to use the internet to enrich the learning experience of students.
Connect To Learn is a public-private partnership that involves the use of ICT solutions to promote universal access to quality secondary education in developing countries. The project was largely made possible through a strategic partnership between Ericsson and the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) Girls’ Education Challenge.
Ericsson and its coalition of partners for the Connect To Learn project leverage the strengths and contributions of each collaborator. For example, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) provides project funding, UNESCO provides teacher training and mobile technology-based educational programs on English language and life skills, and the Earth Institute manages the student stipend and school grant component, as well as conducting implementation research at the schools.
In addition, Finja Five provides child-friendly computing solutions, while EduEval Educational Consultancy conducts monitoring and evaluation. Qualcomm Incorporated, through its Qualcomm Wireless Reach initiative, also provides funding and the program utilizes mobile devices enabled by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Ms. Weidman-Grunewald says the method of delivering teachers ICT training content is more effective than simply delivering computers to a school that just sits there because nobody knows how to use them.
In order to attract more businesses in the industry to implement sustainable practices, it needs to be profitable, says Ms. Weidman-Grunewald. At the briefing she spoke of another report released in January called ‘Better Business, Better World’ which puts into question the economic value of the UN SGDs. According to the report, if businesses look at areas such as clean energy, health, smart cities, etc, it could generate trillions of dollars.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) opens up $12 trillion of market opportunities in the four economic systems examined by members of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission: food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, as well as health and well-being. The ‘Better Business, Better World’ report says these areas represent around 60 percent of the real economy and are critical to delivering the SDGs.
“To capture these opportunities in full, businesses need to pursue social and environmental sustainability as avidly as they pursue market share and shareholder value,” the report says. “If a critical mass of companies joins us in doing this now, together we will become an unstoppable force. If they don’t, the costs and uncertainty of unsustainable development could swell until there is no viable world in which to do business.”
Ericsson’s commitments to deliver superior energy performance include a strong focus on 5G, according to its report – a goal to dramatically reduce the use of diesel, and a commitment to ensure the Ericsson Radio System platform remains the most power-efficient on the market.
“We’ve made a commitment that our 5G systems will be ten times more energy efficient than our 4G systems by 2020,” said Ms. Weidman-Grunewald. “It’s a very big commitment, because when you think of our industry, there’s more and more video, more and more growth with more and more things connected, so if we don’t think about power consumption, it will continue to increase. We decided to break that trend and we will lead our industry to have greener telecommunications networks in the future.”
PureSolar, a project completed with Telenor in Myanmar, involved the deployment of the world’s first 500 watt solar-powered site. Within just one year of operation, the solar-powered site proved to be more economical than the diesel alternative. Ericsson says overall it has reduced CO2 emissions per employee by 45 percent by targeting business travel, product transportation and energy usage in its facilities.
Ms. Weidman-Grunewald also highlighted Ericsson’s commitments to maintaining high standards for suppliers and taking a stand against slavery and human-trafficking. Ericsson manages the social environmental impacts of its supply chain as part of its “approach to embedding corporate responsibility” throughout its business practices, the report says.
“A new legislation in the UK for anti-slavery and anti-trafficking [UK Modern Slavery Act] has passed and we decided to implement this globally because we think it’s the right thing to do,” said Ms. Weidman-Grunewald. “It’s a commitment where we make sure that in our supply chain we will actively work to make sure that we’re using suppliers and labor according to protecting people’s dignity and rights.”
In 2016, Ericsson made its first Statement on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking for the Ericsson Group, in which it says Ericsson has a zero-tolerance approach to corruption, and a significantly strengthened anti-corruption program. For its third year in a row, Ericsson has reported according to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights reporting framework – and remains the only ICT company to do so, according to the report.
NuVu, an Ericsson entity, is the first online streaming platform that provides 'off-peak' video downloading for operators in emerging markets where streaming is slow and expensive. It's the first time Ericsson has licensed content, says Stephan Riome, Ericsson's Global Head of Programming Acquisitions & Marketing Broadcast and Media Services, to provide a video subscription on demand service for operators to compete against the likes of Netflix.
Ericsson announced the launch of its first end-to-end subscription video-on-demand content service, NuVu, at the end of 2015. Ericsson co-brands the NuVu service with its partner operators in emerging markets that want to provide the service, for example: 'NuVu by (the operator)'. Ericsson works with the operator and their networks to provide a customer experience that is matched and relevant to their respective market.
For example, Airtell provides NuVu for its customers in Nigeria. Nigeria has legacy networks such as 2G and 3G, and they are moving into 4G. To offer a video subscription on demand service as an operator would be very challenging in Nigeria, says Stephan, because the networks aren't developed enough for the capability to stream online, and data costs are very high.
"What we do is work with the operators to license relevant content, such as Nollywood movies (Nigerian films), second-pay output agreements with Hollywood studios like Foxx and DreamWorks, CBS, MGM, etc, and the latest pay TV series from international and locally relevant suppliers," Stephan told Telecom Review.
Once the platform is downloaded, the user can add showcased content from the site to their list of selected content to temporarily download it. The download exists for thirty days; however, users have the choice to stream if they wish. It provides the choice for those with a poor internet connection to enjoy the services that platforms like Netflix provide.
The benefit of NuVu is that it provides "off peak" temporary downloads, which means the download occurs when there is less internet traffic, typically during the night. The customer ends up with an "all you can eat" type of experience with their content. The benefit to the customer is that they're getting a very low cost subscription service with no "data bill shock" at the end of the month.
"The service is cheaper on the basis that we're working in the African market on an 'off-peak' download basis. You're selecting content to be downloaded overnight," Stephan explained. "We rely on operators who know their network to provide us with the off-peak hours. That way, the off-peak hours really depend on the operator that's hosting NuVu."
Ericsson can provide additional options to the operators to give their users the choice of waiting for the content to download during off-peak hours or the option to download the content immediately, as well as the option to stream. The service can be "as advanced or as basic as the operator and the market requires," said Stephan. It's a "mass market proposition."
There will be customers that want instant gratification, and for that reason, Ericsson typically launches NuVu with the 'download now' and 'download later' options combined. But based on customer experience, once the customer has paid for the data to 'download now' they only tend to do it once, according to Stephan.
Ericsson is working with operators to tap into mass scale streaming within emerging markets through NuVu. The operator gets a premium video subscription service to offer their customers that is branded with their name which is something that Netflix wouldn't offer.
The biggest challenge that Ericsson faces with NuVu is piracy. But Stephan believes customers want a solution that is commercially viable, offering choice, convenience and control. People want to be able to "grab and consume content and be in control of what they watch," he said. In fact, over 50 percent of consumers binge-watch content at least once a day, according to Ericsson Consumer Lab research, and only 5 percent claim that they never binge watch content.
The NuVu brand identity was created by the award-wining creative agency Red Bee, which is part of Ericsson. It's a perfect solution for emerging market mobile operators that haven't launched video yet allowing them to jump into the market potentially many years before they could have otherwise.