Ericsson chief sees an IP takeover

Internet Protocol (IP) is the vehicle for voice and data transportation of the future, according to the president of Ericsson's newly formed enterprise-focused company.

Lars Svensson of Ericsson Enterprise AB said eventually there will be one IP network in each country and within three years, every mobile device will have an IP address, due to the evolution to IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6).

IPv6 is the latest level of IP; currently version 4 is used. The most obvious improvement will be the lengthening of IP addresses from 32bits to 128bits, thereby providing relief for the perceived impending shortage of network addresses.

Svensson said all the present hype is around the mobile Internet. He said applications have previously been aimed at the consumer market with not much around for enterprises.

"The applications enterprises want are different." He said professionals want access to corporate databases, the intranet and 'total' roaming.

"The combination of 3G [third-generation wireless], Bluetooth and the wireless LAN will give users the ability to move from the office environment to the outside.

"The mobile device of the future will be a portable device, like a PDA, with a mobile phone. Total roaming of all applications and services [accessible] in the office will be possible. 'Free' roaming, with hot spots that have high data speeds will occur, this is already happening in Europe."

Svensson said corporate users will have to wait for 3G to get to the stage of 'free' roaming because GSM (global system for mobile communication) is great for voice and messaging but does not have enough bandwidth to run any applications.

"GPRS [general packet radio services] allows for what a PC connected to the Web gives. But if you are looking at heavier applications like e-mail and attachments, then it is not enough.

"However 3G will be more like broadband, bringing mobile applications normally [only accessible] in the office to the mobile device; more or less the same as a cable into the office," Svensson said.

Ericsson Corporate Networks was formed in January this year and focuses solely on enterprise network integration. It is a multinational group based in 19 countries and is 80 per cent owned by Apax Partners Funds and 20 per cent Ericsson.

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