back to article Swedish network biz Ericsson chops 1,400 jobs at home

Swedish networking kit maker Ericsson is laying off 1,400 employees in its home nation amid wider efforts to reduce expenses, and ahead of a deeper round of redundancies in other countries expected in the coming days. The job losses are part of previously announced efforts to speed up "cost improvements" with an SEK 9 billion …

  1. Flak

    5G investments slowing

    This does not surprise me at all. While 5G brings some efficiency and performance gains to operators, there is still no 'killer app' use case for consumer 5G adoption.

    I am no luddite, but cannot justify a handset upgrade to 5G for the couple of situations a year where it would be nice (some data connectivity in large scale venues where 4G runs out of puff).

    For operators, 5G does not bring any additional users (or premium subscriptions) as far as I can see.

    So the 5G vendors are at the end of a chain of discretionary spenders who are squeezed due to cost of living rises and layoffs are unfortunately a direct consequence of that.

    1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: 5G investments slowing

      Yes and no. Of course I agree that consumers are not going to be spending more money.

      However, with a very few exceptions, I don't think operator investment cases for 5G are generally built around consumer 5G phones. They do vary a lot with region and market types but I think they are mostly a combination of (i) cost reduction for some existing network spending (such as moving a bunch of network processing out of cell sites and into public cloud (AWS, etc)), and (ii) new business services/offers (such as factory automation, entertainment services for venues, immersive gaming/experiences, in-building wiring reduction, cloud-based enterprise security, etc).

      1. Flak

        Re: 5G investments slowing

        I agree the case is not built around 5G consumer phones as such, but large quantities of 5G consumer phones (and other 5G devices - dare I mention IoT) will be needed to drive the operator network efficiencies to squeeze more out of the available spectrum and therefore be able to shift more data. Consumer phones are still the only large scale application on 5G - IoT is lagging behind as a consequence of lack of network availability and the natural lag of the hardware development community only developing devices once networks are sufficiently available.

        Pre-Covid I was at MWC in Barcelona just as 5G hit the mainstream. What were the applications touted? 5G factory, 5G gaming, 5G remote surgery, 5G augmented reality for utility company field engineers.

        At that point it was clear that the industry was in trouble and I still see 5G as a solution looking for a problem. Niche solutions do not make a market for providers that need millions of subscriptions to survive (and thrive).

        And there is another sleight of hand - the blurring of lines between operator provided services and private services. Factory automation and remote surgery will likely be built on private 5G services rather than operator ones (if done wirelessly at all).

        Happy to be persuaded otherwise...

        1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

          Re: 5G investments slowing

          I don't disagree that operator plans were unrealistic, just that I don't think they were very heavily biased towards consumer 5G - at least in the big global groups. After all, we had all been through the 3G hype ("Girls, Games and Gambling!") and didn't want to repeat the experience.

          The North American operators, in particular, were all extremely dismissive of consumer 5G as the business case. That is why the equipment providers, and the operators' own strategy people, built such fantastic cases around industrial uses (mainly factory automation), smart cities (which really meant smart sports stadia as monitoring rubbish collection was clearly more suited to much lower frequency bands) and content delivery at the edge.

    2. Xalran

      Re: 5G investments slowing

      Remember the 3G ?

      There was also no killer app for it and it was slow taking off.... Because WAP had been sold as Internet on Mobile ( it was not the case )

      Once IT departments discovered that it could be used for mobile users, and really was Mobile Internet, things moved on.

      It's going to be the same for 5G, most of the changes are behind the scene in the network, but 5G is to mobile internet what moving from DSL to Fiber to the home is to fixed internet.

      So in some area you can just stop laying fiber and plant 5G towers and instead of a fixed triple play box you give a 5G triple play box to the subscribers.

  2. Lis Bronze badge

    Ok, so I'm thick

    but what does "sweat the asset" mean? Apart from the obvious fact that whoever thought that phrase up is a knobhead.

    1. Xalran

      Re: Ok, so I'm thick

      They lose money on these deployments as they are a PITA to integrate with the industrial networks, but they have to do them because otherwisse they would go to Cisco or Nokia.

      Telecom networks in the Industry are quite different from Telecom networks for Operators.

      That's basically 3 servers & 2 Routers ( in the Ericsson case, the Cisco one use a single bigger server they host the relevant telecom network functions in a virtualized environment ) and a bunch of baseband with antennas and/or pico/dots antennas.

      Obviously : I've been at sweating end of several.

    2. Sam not the Viking

      Re: Ok, so I'm thick

      'Sweat the asset' is usually when the owner/utility stops all maintenance and upkeep of a product, judging that they will get their bonus for 'saving costs' before the equipment conks out. It then becomes 'someone else's problem'.

      This is why your roads are wrecked, rivers are polluted and services fail.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3g 4g 5g just another reason to upgrade your phone

    regardless of how many g's you have air brushed on the side in a large dispersed area the signal and service is still poor but each comes with a bigger data plan and more money out of pocket for the consumer the towers are bigger and uglier and still provide poor service more and more I want my POTS back

    1. Xalran

      Re: 3g 4g 5g just another reason to upgrade your phone

      since 2G and 3G had to be cut off in many cases to make room for 5G... ( it reuses the frequency bands and uses some more higher in the spectrum ) it's not surprising.

      And to have full benefit of 5G you need antennas every 100m or so... Which is the headache $TELCO are faced with.

      In the end they are going to hide them in lampposts, traffic lights, bus stops, and all the other urban features that can hide a small antenna.

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