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Ericsson's Vestberg: Networked Society Not Far Off

1/23/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

LAS VEGAS — A networked society in which
everyone and everything will be connected in
real time will transform industries and societies,
and it’s not far away, Ericsson president/
CEO Hans Vestberg predicted during his International
CES keynote.

“Anything that benefits from being connected
will be connected in the future,” said
the head of the company that built 40 percent
of the world’s deployed mobile infrastructure.

Already, he said, 85 percent of the world’s
population is covered by mobile wireless networks, and
that will rise to more than 90 percent by 2015.

In the connected society, cars will be equipped with
wireless 4G LTE chips that alert nearby cars in real time
to potential hazards, thanks to LTE’s 5x greater latency
over 3G, Vestberg said. Ericsson will outfit more than
400 cargo ships operated by Maesrk Lines, the world’s
largest shipping company, with 4G LTE to monitor all
their vessels around the world in real time and reduce
fuel consumption.

Wireless networking has already transformed
the ability of nongovernment aid organizations
in Africa to help refugees find lost
family members more quickly, said Christopher
Mikkelsen, co-founder of Refugees United.
Mikkelsen joined Vestberg on stage to outline
how Ericsson brings mobile base stations
to refugee camps to provide cellular service.

Eventually, people themselves will become
physical links in the networked society, Vestberg
said, pointing to new capacitive coupling
technology being demonstrated at Ericsson’s
booth. Using that technology, people could exchange
electronic business cards from smartphone to smartphone
just by shaking hands. People would also be able
to display a smartphone-stored picture on a TV screen
simply by holding the phone in one hand and touching
the TV. And people could collect information about an
object just by touching it, he added.

When one person connects to the network, that person’s
life changes, Vestberg said. But “with everything
connected, the world changes.”

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