Ericsson has opened a joint R&D facility with MTS, the largest mobile operator in Russia, which will focus on 5G connectivity and the Internet of Things.
Each company brings its own expertise to the table, with MTS offering data center facilities and test environments, and sharing resources from its IoT Lab, while Ericsson provides cloud and telecommunications technologies and the expertise of its startup and academic partners, among other resources.
With the launch of their research center in the Russian Federation Republic of Tatarstan, the companies have also announced the first projects their partnership will tackle. They have signed a joint agreement with PJSC KamAZ, a Russian manufacturer of heavy trucks, to collaborate on autonomous vehicles; and they have established partnerships with the cities of Almetyevsk and Arsk to develop narrowband smart city solutions “for the utility sector, city infrastructure management, urban transport and environmental monitoring,” according to a statement from Ericsson.
Speaking at the facility’s launch event, Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm said his firm predicts that by 2023, tehre will be over 20 billion connected devices in the IoT, adding 5G spectrum will be “critical” to supporting such device ecosystems.
This if, of course, just one of many telecom partnerships that Ericsson has fostered in its pursuit of 5G technology, with the company well positioned to be a critical provider of infrastructure as such communications networks take shape. Ericsson says its 5G Platform will enable partners to start offering 5G services from the fourth quarter of this year.