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Issue 66

MWC 2019 - Interview with Magnus Frodigh - Head of Research @ Ericsson

Ovidiu Mățan
Founder @ Today Software Magazine
INTERVIEW


Hello. We are at MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona and we are talking to Magnus Frodigh, Head of Research at Ericsson.

Magnus Frodigh: Hello.

5G seems to be the trend at MWC Barcelona. How do you see 5G adoption? Can we leverage any of the existing infrastructure?

Magnus Frodigh: We are seeing a rapid take-up of 5G. We started the standardization for this 5-6 years ago. We were aiming for 2020, but now we have full commercial builds out there. Our customers' interest is enormous (and it should be) because 5G offers such a powerful platform for the operators, for the society, for the industries. It is super important to get involved early on. To do this, you must build on what you have. You cannot build completely new networks. We have designed 5G so that 4G is actually a subset of 5G. This is done so that 5G is so much more, but the 4G fits in the 5G. We built a system that can instantly switch between 4G and 5G because they share the spectrum. So, if you have an operator that has an attractive spectrum, 4G customers, it is hard to switch completely, but if you add 5G on top of it, you cater for all your subscribers.

As I understood there will be an upgrade solution as well.

Magnus Frodigh: All the functionality I talked about is software. Of course, if you want 5G you will need a new antenna and all that, but you can upgrade the software. You can actually run 5G on top of the previous infrastructure.

Magnus Frodigh - Head of Research @ Ericsson

What do you think about integrated devices? How do you see the future of IoT devices? What benefits will 5G bring along for them?

Magnus Frodigh: IoT is a new space. It is difficult to talk just about IoT because you have both sensors and autonomous vehicles in this field. I think we need a more powerful IoT technology. This is being developed and will be provided in the years to come. There will be higher reliability functions. We design the systems to have a short round-trip time. We can have response times on a millisecond level, within the millisecond we can have a couple of retransmissions, and we need to build on this further. All the connected vehicles/devices can receive and transmit a lot of data because there is no limit on how much data a car can generate, right? A car today could easily generate a terabyte a day.

I totally agree, especially if we are talking about autonomous driving and precision maps. The amount of data will be huge.

Magnus Frodigh: The data generated by machines will dominate.

I saw some really nice solutions from Ericsson regarding Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. What is the trend here?

Magnus Frodigh: We have been waiting for a breakthrough. We saw the Pokemon Go example. If you could do the same with AI experiences, it would be great. Devices are coming up with more attractive things. Things are in the labs and on their way to market. 5G will provide more capacity. You need a solution for connecting all the data in the network. There will be a lot of computing.

I think there will be a lot of fun and a lot of work for developers given all this.

Magnus Frodigh: Yes. It's only imagination which limits what you can do with these things, right?

What can you tell us about the future? What happens after 5G?

Magnus Frodigh: We are looking at what is beyond 5G. The changes we foresee in the context of connectivity, computing and AI will be tremendous. We designed the 5G standard to be future compatible, upgradable. There are many ideas just floating around. They will be in the 5G evolution so we must think what comes after that. I can imagine a future where there is so much data between machines, so 6G will be more optimized for this.

It sounds great. Thank you very much.

Magnus Frodigh: Thanks a lot.

Conference

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