Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm emphasized his firm’s success in making 5G technology a reality in remarks opening the company’s Annual General Meeting this week.
In his opening speech, Ekholm noted that Ericsson technology was used in the world’s first 5G network, launched last year, and that this was also true of Europe’s first 5G network. He also asserted that Ericsson has 27 live 5G networks across four continents, and 86 commercial 5G agreements in place, making it the world leader in this emerging cellular technology.
“Last year we talked about switching on 5G globally,” he said. “Today, we can say that we have succeeded.”
The company isn’t stopping there, of course. Ekholm asserted that the 5G network is growing faster than most analysts had anticipated, and with Ericsson having shown organic growth and improved gross and operating margins for the first time since 2013, he said it’s in a good financial position to move forward with more 5G projects.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic looms over all of this. Ekholm said that so far, the disease hadn’t had any material effect on Ericsson’s business, but that the company’s leadership “are closely following the developments in society.” COVID-19 had prompted Ericsson to urge shareholders to participate in the AGM remotely, via webcast; meanwhile, a recent report from ABI Research predicted that the pandemic would slow 5G adoption.