Expanding infrastructure ecosystems
Ericsson has showcased infrastructure solutions and partnerships for utilities, transport, public safety and smart cities at Mobile World Congress 2016
Ericsson has highlighted its work with government and the public sector in the Middle East region at the recent Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Spain. Speaking to .GOV at MWC, Rutger Reman, Head of Industry and Society Unit, Ericsson Region Middle East, said that the company has expanded its portfolio beyond traditional telecommunications solutions in recent years, and now has a number of technologies that are helping governments with their digital transformation efforts.
“We work with operators, but we are now taking all the knowledge and skills and products from the telecoms side, and bringing it over to government. We have a multitude of partners that come together with Ericsson to help governments be more efficient,” he said.
At MWC, Ericsson was exhibiting three mains themes that are relevant to the public sector, Reman explained, including utilities, public safety and transport. Ericsson’s offerings in these areas are intended to provide government with more efficient operations, better utilisation of existing and future infrastructure investments and a clear path to digitisation of services.
In the utilities space, Ericsson is working with partners to develop smart meters and grids for power and water, and there is a lot of interest in these areas from government in the GCC to improve the efficiency of the utilities, Reman said.
In public safety, governments are looking for better means of security and protection, and Ericsson is looking to deliver solutions such as sensors, surveillance cameras and command and control, he added, which will improve the intelligence available to law enforcement and emergency authorities.
In the transport area, Ericsson is looking to help address issues of traffic congestion, and to enable road and transport authorities to use the ICT infrastructure for better visibility and control of traffic, and also greater information sharing with all road users to help them to avoid traffic problems and reduce traffic.
Ericsson is also focused on the technologies which will make smart, sustainable cities an achievable goal for government in the region, and in developing a partner ecosystem to complement its own services organisation to deliver these solutions.
At the end of last year, the company signed a technology and business partnership with Cisco to work in a wide number of areas, with one of the main areas of focus being the Internet of Things. Governments in the region need to keep up with the fast pace of IoT adoption, Reman said, and Ericsson and its partners can support them in this through technology solutions such as 4G and 5G for network connectivity; tailoring solutions to meet local requirements or developing local IoT solutions; and helping create highly-connected systems.
“What we try to do, whether it is the operators or the government, is to build the infrastructure that covers the whole city, or the whole country, and then you connect the cameras, the sensors, and extract data from it. IoT is really about making sure that everything is connected. It is also about enabling innovation. In the Gulf region there is a lot of thought coming in from the top that they want the countries to be smarter, so you need to introduce innovation,” Reman said.
“Using the IoT infrastructure, which is now built on 4G, going towards 5G, you can have developers, whether it is a small start-up or a big company like Ericsson, we can have an ecosystem of innovators in this region, using the infrastructure to develop new applications, that will be good for us as citizens, and good for the government.”