MWC 2016: Ericsson Announces OTT Cloud Connect, Unified Delivery Network; Teams With Qualcomm on 5G Roll Out

During the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona this week, Ericsson (Hall 2, Stand 2N60) is announced a host of new efforts and products, including an “OTT Cloud Connect” for mobile operators (in partnership with Google), plans for 5G commercial roll out with Qualcomm, and a Unified Delivery Network with a variety of service providers. The company also released the finding of the latest Ericsson Mobility Report and led a discussion regarding LTE Broadcast at the second annual MWC Ericsson / GSMA LTE Broadcast Forum. 

Ericsson Launches “OTT Cloud Connect” Service for Mobile Operators, Partners With Google
At MWC, Ericsson is launching OTT Cloud Connect (OCC), an open cloud service that allows mobile operators across the globe to ‘connect’ to multiple OTT players to deliver new and creative services to users. The Ericsson OCC service strives to bridge the gap between operator networks and OTT services by exposing the OSS and BSS capabilities of operators to OTT players and vice versa. This brings simplicity to collaboration between OTTs and operators, making it possible to offer unique application-specific features to end users for better experiences.

EricssonThe OCC platform is an open platform that would allow any OTT player to deliver innovative features to users based on integration with specific operator network capabilities. It acts as a gateway platform that abstracts the complexities of each operator’s network and provides simple integration for OTT players and applications.

“Collaboration, between operators and OTT providers, would be key as we start seeing new innovative services being introduced towards the end users” says Diomedes Kastanis, Head of Technology, Business Unit Support Solutions, Ericsson. “Ericsson is strongly supportive of this approach and we believe we are in a sweet spot to play the role of an enabler to make this collaboration happen. We are very bullish about the OCC platform and very happy to have integrated with YouTube as the first video platform. We look forward to onboarding many more OTT providers.”

“Mobile environments introduce a number of complexities, but also a range of opportunities when it comes to delivering quality experiences for users,” says Jay Akkad, Sr. Product Manager on the YouTube Emerging Markets team. “Ericsson’s OTT Cloud Connect forges collaboration between operators and OTT providers to break down some of this complexity and open the door to a world of opportunity for enhancing services. We believe initiatives like these will accelerate innovation between operators and OTT providers, and we look forward to working with operators on new features and services to users.”

Ericsson is collaborating with Google as one of the first partners to get on-boarded on the OCC platform. This integration enables Google to bring innovative features and services to products such as YouTube and reach large numbers of users by leveraging the scale that OCC provides.

Going forward, Ericsson will continue to bring additional OTT players onto the OCC platform for the benefit of one common interface or platform for participating operators and OTT players.

Qualcomm, Ericsson Team Up on 5G Commercial Roll Out
Qualcomm and Ericsson announced their collaboration on 5G technology development, early interoperability testing and coordination on select initiatives with leading mobile operators. The companies will engage in early trials and verification of key 5G technology components to support the technical work required for 3GPP standardization in Release 15, which is expected to be completed in 2018. In order to enable standards-compliant 5G infrastructure and devices to be available shortly after the completion of Release 15, the companies are also driving interoperability in alignment with 3GPP to enable rapid adoption of new 5G standards.

“With many operators accelerating the 5G timelines, it is important for leading members in the ecosystem to work together to advance standards-based solutions that benefit consumers and society,”said Ulf Ewaldsson, chief technical officer at Ericsson. “Ericsson has a longstanding history of technical collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies and we look forward to continuing this as the companies lead the way towards 5G.”

With decades of experience shaping the evolution of mobile technologies including 3G and 4G LTE, Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson are working on 5G research and development, standardization, interoperability testing and trials in cooperation with leading operators around the world.

This collaboration will further  the goal of completing the first release of 3GPP 5G standards on time by supporting 3GPP with data from joint trials and will enable the two companies to perform early interoperability testing based on the evolving draft standard. Operators will be able to better understand the capabilities of 5G by trialing interoperable prototypes provided by the two companies with the intent of hastening the rollout of standards-compliant, commercial 5G infrastructure and devices.

In parallel with 5G development, Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson will continue leading advancements in 4G with 3GPP LTE Advanced Pro, pioneering new technologies such as LTE in unlicensed spectrum (including LTE-U, Licensed-Assisted Access and MulteFire), LTE IoT (including eMTC and NB-IOT) and advanced antenna techniques that bring many of the capabilities and use cases envisioned for 5G into today’s LTE networks. The recent successful testing of Gigabit-class LTE with a major operator is an example of how collaboration in 3GPP LTE Advanced Pro will pave the path to envisioning 5G use cases and user experiences.

“As we did in both 3G and 4G, we are excited about collaborating with leading operators and industry stakeholders such as Ericsson in the development of a unified, more capable 5G platform” said Matt Grob, EVP and CTO, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Now that the vision and interest for 5G are well established, it is time to focus on the technical and engineering work required to support operator trials and commercial network launches.”

Ericsson Mobility Report: Streaming Delays Mentally Taxing for Smartphone Users: 

The Mobile World Congress edition of the Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) Mobility Report reveals the impact of different levels of network performance on smartphone users and their perceptions of mobile operators and digital content providers.

Neuroscience technology (wireless electroencephalography technology, pulse meters and eye-tracking equipment) was used to objectively measure emotional responses to varied smartphone experiences. Delays in loading web pages and videos under time pressure caused mobile users’ heart rates to rise an average of 38%. Six-second delays to video streaming caused stress levels to increase by a third. To put that in context, the stress incurred is equivalent to the anxiety of taking a math test or watching a horror movie alone, and greater than the stress experienced by standing at the edge of a virtual cliff. Once a video begins, an additional pause can cause stress levels to increase dramatically.

In the study, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) of an operator increased significantly when associated with a delay-free experience – by 4.5 points. This finding was also reflected when measuring emotional engagement using a neuroscience-based motivational index.

However, the operator’s NPS dropped on average four points with moderate time-to-content and re-buffering delays. Interestingly, moderate delays result in a double negative for mobile operators: decreased engagement with their brand and increased engagement with competitors.

Other highlights from the Ericsson Mobility Report – Mobile World Congress edition, include:

  • Social networking is second only to video for driving mobile traffic growth. Over the next six years total social networking traffic will be around 12 times that of the previous six years
  • 68 million mobile subscriptions added in Q4 2015, India added the most (21 million), followed by China (6 million), the US (5 million), Myanmar (5 million) and Nigeria (3 million)
  • Total number of mobile subscriptions in Q4 2015 reached 100 percent penetration at around 7.3 billion – the same number of mobile subscriptions as people in the world
  • Global mobile data traffic grew 65 percent between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015
  • There are now one billion LTE subscriptions worldwide, with approximately 160 million additions in Q4 2015


Ericsson Teams With Service To Create Unified Delivery Network
As highlighted by Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, networks are suffering from increased strain as OTT and video becomes an ever-more dominating force in network traffic, with an expected growth of 55% each year through to 2021. In response to this, Ericsson is creating its Unified Delivery Network (UDN) as an ecosystem in partnership with several leading global service providers including Hutchison, Telstra, AIS, and Vodafone. The solution connects content providers with the last mile reach of service providers for content delivery.

“The launch of UDN delivers a disruptive new business model that offers a win-win situation for all players involved with traffic delivery,” Per Borgklint, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson says. “Service providers are given revenue-generating possibilities as they invest in building out their networks and content providers can take advantage of a much more transparent delivery environment. This transparency delivers data driven insights back to content originators meaning consumer experiences can be enhanced and personalized at a much deeper level.”

Content providers Brightcove, DailyMotion, EchoStar, Deluxe, LeTV, and QuickPlay have elected to partner with Ericsson in establishing UDN successfully to the market. Through addressing the needs of both service providers and content providers, this global CDN ecosystem enables and aggregates network capabilities into the public domain, allowing services to be optimized and scaling the delivery of OTT services and high-quality video content.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Ericsson to create the UDN for content providers, enabling end users to enjoy an amazing user experience with swift and seamless delivery of video, digital contents and web applications on HGC’s unparalleled international platform which is interconnected with numerous mobile operators,” says Andrew Kwok, President of International and Carrier Business of Hutchison Telecommunications (Hong Kong) Limited. “We will continue to work out new solutions to cope with ever-changing globalised business needs.”

Mike Wright, Managing Director, Networks, Telstra Group, adds: “The growth of streaming media and high quality video technologies has ushered in a new era of content delivery. Leveraging our network capabilities, we look forward to collaborating with Ericsson to provide content providers with optimized services, the highest-quality viewing experiences, and increased market footprint.”

Ericsson and its global service provider partners will work collaboratively to deliver enhanced business and customer values by harnessing the following agile services and capabilities enabled by the UDN:

  • Last mile: With the last mile edge delivery, content providers are equipped to optimize services and scale the delivery of high quality content and advanced services including 4K, Ultra High Definition, gaming and virtual reality.
  • Global reach: With a content peering partnership, the collective members of the Unified Delivery Network have a full global reach for content delivery and value-add services to keep pace with the number of growing viewers, gamers and data surge with the rise of broadband connectivity and mobility.
  • Rich data analytics: Insights into drivers of revenue such as campaign performance and user engagement from operators enable Ericsson Unified Delivery Network to offer hyper-targeted content offerings and advertising, leading to highly personalized viewing experiences and greater business opportunities.
  • Service enablement: Content providers can add services through the service provider’s networks at any given time, enabling rapid innovation, cost savings, and faster time to market for new services.

Ericsson’s longstanding relationships with industry players spanning the entire media chain allow it to facilitate and create new business relationships in the ecosystem.

Ericsson Leads Global Discussion on LTE Broadcast
On Tuesday, Ericsson joined mobile operators, content providers and device manufacturers at the second meeting of the MWC Ericsson / GSMA LTE Broadcast Forum. The meeting, hosted by Ericsson, acted as an exchange of ideas from the top technology companies to support LTE Broadcast adoption and delivery. The group collaborated on a cross-sector agenda for the coming year, identifying key areas and actions to build on the current momentum and further advance LTE Broadcast adoption.

With video forecast to make up 70% of all mobile data traffic in 2021, investment in LTE Broadcast is critical to ensuring that providers can continue to deliver high quality video services in the future. According to Ericsson, LTE Broadcast is the most efficient way to deliver content to end-users, reducing network pressures and supporting continued growth across the media sector.

In addition to addressing rising video demand, the group discussed how LTE Broadcast can be best applied to new use cases, within and beyond the media sector. This includes breaking news, disaster relief, education, live events and health applications, as well as software app and firmware updates.

“With traffic pressures increasing, it is incredibly important for the industry to engage in sharing best practices for mobile video delivery,” David Hutton, Head of Networks, GSMA, commented. “However, the benefits of LTE Broadcast extend well beyond meeting demand. There is huge potential for content providers to widen the range of video services they are currently delivering, bringing significant revenue generation to multiple industry sectors.”

“The rise in consumer demand for video across mobile devices is driving the need for better, faster systems of content delivery,” Alan Hadden, GSA, said. “Mobile providers should consider how LTE Broadcast can help increase cost savings, while also extending the quality of the service that is offered to consumers across multiple devices. To support this progress the GSA is focused on creating the right circumstances for adoption, including having clear objectives for moving forward.”

“In 2012, Ericsson delivered the first live demonstration of LTE Broadcast during Mobile World Congress,” Elisabetta Romano, VP and Head of TV and Media, Ericsson, said. “Four years later we are hosting global leaders in a discussion to advance the adoption of this revolutionary video technology, demonstrating its commercial viability and continued potential for growth. LTE Broadcast is already servicing different industry segments, enabling content providers to deliver more seamless and immersive media experiences for consumers across every device.”

In addition to hosting the MWC Ericsson / GSMA LTE Broadcast Forum, Ericsson delivered a number of LTE Broadcast demonstrations and presentations including:

  • LTE Broadcast Media Optimized Network Technology with Telstra, Ericsson Hall; Demo exhibits LTE Broadcast in combination with advanced CDN functionalities to enable pre-positioning of content
  • LTE Broadcast Over The Air Technology with Telstra, Ericsson Hall; Demo exhibits an LTE Broadcast Mobile Router, facilitating the extension of the device ecosystem to a range of devices that themselves do not support LTE Broadcast
  • News & Content on Mobile: New Trends in Consumer Consumption roundtable with Elisabetta Romano, part of the GSMA Conference

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