At Mobile World Congress 2013, Ericsson will attempt to provide an idea of what the networked society will look like by 2020 and beyond. The company is developing the 5G concept to discover how to manage 50 billion connections in a sustainable and cost efficient way.
It is putting on two demonstration projects to provide an idea of what the future might look like: The Connected Megacity and Window of Opportunity.
The Connected Megacity is a demo showing how ICT can increase safety, creativity and sustainability in cities that by 2050 will be occupied by 70% of the world population
Window of Opportunity is an exploration project where Ericsson tests the idea of connecting glass to boost indoor coverage and enable services such as automated blinds and cloud control for ventilation
Managing the data explosion
The company points out that beyond 2020, mobile data volumes will be 1,000 times higher and user data rates will be up to 100 times faster than today. In the same time, there will be between 10 to 100 times more connected devices.
Therefore, networks will need to be able to handle a massive amount of connected devices and much more data traffic than today. All this needs to be done in a low cost and sustainable way.
In order to cope with such challenges in the networked society, Ericsson is working to identify new technologies, complementing the evolution of existing technologies to enable even more efficient, scalable and versatile networks.
Examples include ultra-dense deployments for public indoor environments such as libraries and universities where cloud services will be crucial in order to meet communication needs.
5G – a way to integrate multiple radio access technologies
Ericsson sees 5G as a way for users to enjoy the ultimate network experience. 5G is not one, or a few, completely new radio access technologies. Instead, by adopting an experience-centric rather than technology-centric approach, it's focusing on offering an ultimate experience by integrating multiple radio access technologies fulfilling different needs.
With this demo, Ericsson takes visitors on a trip to the world in 2020 and reveals how 5G will help to meet future challenges, fulfilling the communication needs and enabling the long-term networked society.
The Connected Megacity
Another challenge is the increasing urbanization. By the year 2050, 70% of the world's population will live in cities, compared to 50% today. Many will live in the largest urban areas - the so called mega cities - and this population boost will dramatically increase the need to manage social, economic and environmental issues more efficiently and in a more sustainable way. Ericsson views ICT and mobile technology as key to meeting these challenges and critical for future infrastructure and city planning.
In the Connected Megacity demonstration, Ericsson will bring the networked city to life and highlight the benefits of collaborative and proactive practices. With focus on technology enablers, it will look into three main scenarios. The first one, the safe city, illustrates how ICT solutions can ease traffic congestion after a car accident has impacted on traffic movement.
The second scenario is the creative city and shows how ICT solutions can ensure a quality network user experience for the audience even during densely populated cultural or social events such as concerts. The third scenario, the greener city, demonstrates a heatwave and how a city can manage such conditions by taking advantage of smart grids.
These three demos show how patterns of behavior can be identified by analyzing and combining feeds of data and situational knowledge stemming from these scenarios.
Experts can then work with the results of the analysis to make intelligent and contextual recommendations for different scenarios.
Window of Opportunity
Ericsson will also offer a sneak peek into an exploration project called Window of Opportunity, in which Ericsson tests what happens when ordinary glass windows get connected and act as connectors.
Ericsson will demonstrate how by using a transparent antenna, an ordinary window could easily become part of the mobile broadband network, boosting indoor coverage and providing a great mobile experience inside buildings or when taking public transportation to work.
By connecting the windows on a bus, for example, the bus can become an extended office or a haven where you can unwind with entertainment. Windows could be used as a whiteboard that capture what you have written and e-mails you the notes and much more.
Connected windows offer a spectrum of new and exciting possibilities such as automated blinds and cloud control for ventilation, lights, and more, benefiting people, businesses and society. The connected window also presents opportunities to reduce a building's energy consumption. And by adding transparent solar cells to produce electricity, these applications can power themselves and deliver excess energy into the smart grid.