Sweden to gain competitive advantage with Telia and Ericsson’s new 5G innovation programme for enterprises

Via Telia

Feb 15, 2023

Telia and Ericsson are launching NorthStar – a 5G innovation program for industrial enterprises, for the development and implementation of new digital solutions. NorthStar aims to accelerate the 5G adoption and transformation of industries, thereby strengthening the country’s international competitiveness. The first customer to join is AstaZero, the world’s first full-scale independent test environment for automated transport systems.

NorthStar is born from a long-standing partnership between Telia and Ericsson who jointly engaged with Swedish enterprises about new ways of exploring the benefits of 5G, developing new use cases, and adding value to society.

The program will initially focus on customers´ innovation and R&D units in the automotive and transportation sectors. NorthStar gives them the tools and resources needed, like network slicing and positioning, and the secure, safe, and reliable connectivity to develop new use-cases.

Apart from technology, the program will bring together 5G-experts and specialists from both Telia and Ericsson to support the program and its customers.

The first customer to join is AstaZero, a test environment for future road safety. Located outside Gothenburg, Sweden, it is owned and operated by the research organisation RISE, partnering with Volvo, Veoneer and Scania.

NorthStar’s 5G network utilises Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core, and connects to Telia’s existing public 5G network, currently being rolled out across Sweden. This means that organisations using NorthStar’s 5G environment will benefit from high-speed connectivity across large geographical areas.

Additionally, customers will be able to build their own networks at their own locations, for example test sites and R&D facilities, and connect them to the NorthStar network.

Anders Olsson, CEO at Telia Sweden, says: “Sweden is an industrial powerhouse with iconic brands that reach around the globe. Scaling digital solutions and turning new technologies into tangible business benefits is critical if these companies, and Sweden as a nation, are to remain competitive. Without access to robust and secure digital infrastructure, businesses risk falling behind. Through the NorthStar program, we welcome industrial players to collaborate and trial their solutions using the latest 5G technology, which will help accelerate the development of smart and sustainable transport solutions.”

Peter Janevik, CEO at AstaZero, says: “For AstaZero, the combination of one open and one closed network makes it possible to step up both research and development testing. For example, a self-driving truck can undergo research tests in the closed network in our FLX Zone, simulating operations in a harbour or logistics centre. After leaving the FLX Zone, the truck would transition to the public network, just as it would when leaving the closed area. However, still in the safe confines of the AstaZero Proving Ground. This is one more example of how AstaZero increases digitally driven research and development possibilities.”

Ericsson is a global leader within 5G technology, participating in more than 100 industry organisations, standards bodies, and other technology alliance groups to ensure cross-industry collaboration. Delivering innovative connectivity solutions to more than 7,000 organisations across multiple sectors, Ericsson brings profound experience and expertise to the NorthStar program.

Erik Ekudden, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Ericsson, says: ”The NorthStar program marks another milestone in our partnership with Telia toward the digitalisation of Sweden and the Nordics with the latest mobile technology. Telia and Ericsson launched Europe’s first 1G network and the world’s first 4G network. With NorthStar, we are giving Swedish industry access to the most advanced 5G technology for local sites and for their wide-area connectivity and digitalisation needs. NorthStar’s ambition is to be the catalyst to further develop Sweden as a leading industrial nation and to increase our international competitiveness.”

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