Ericsson and Philips have teamed up to build mobile base stations in Philips smart, energy-efficient light fixtures. “It all started when I met Philips CEO at the World Economic Forum in Davos,” said Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg.
On the opening day of Mobile World Congress, the company’s CEO Hans Vestberg has taken stock of the situation and laid down the guidelines for the future. 2014 will represent a watershed in many ways.
“We started talking about the networked society and the internet of things,” said Hans Vestberg.
Dutch electronics giant Philips, which among other things is one of the world’s largest lighting company, was already up and running with an offer where it offers to take over street lighting in large cities and install smart streetlights with LED lighting.
Ericsson and Philips have developed a type of LED street light that comes bundled with a tiny mobile base station. This Zero Site concept is designed to solve two common urban problems in an efficient way, that will coincidentally prove highly lucrative for the Swedish telecommunications equipment giant and the Dutch electronics conglomerate.
“This is a unique collaboration. Philips currently offers street lighting as a service. You can reduce electricity consumption by 50-70 per cent in urban areas using LED lighting that can be dimmed down as needed,” said Hans Vestberg.
The collaboration is based on Ericsson builds into small base stations in every 15 or 20th lamppost. In this way the telecom companies provide better coverage for 3G and mobile broadband in urban areas, which up until now has been a challenge due to the dense human settlements and increased need.
“We have already tested this technology in the U.S. and both the technology and the design works well,” said Hans Vestberg.
“It’s a little too early to say what this might bring. But we are the world’s largest mobile infrastructure and Philips is one of the world’s largest lighting companies. Hopefully we can present the business during the year. It is Philips who fronts this and talk to the cities,” said Ericsson boss.