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March 15, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 6:47am

CeBIT 2016: Google, Vodafone and Nokia back EC gigabit plans, as Ericsson CEO predicts Network Society tech revolution

News: Hans Vestberg’s vision aligns with the EC 2025 Gigabyte Europe strategy.

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The network and connectivity industries are moving at their fastest speed in the history of IT, bringing with it the Networked Society, according to Hans Vestberg, CEO at Ericsson.

Taking to the main stage of CeBIT 2016, he said that this society is built upon mobility, broadband and cloud.

Mr Vestberg said: "It took 100 years to connect one billion places on Earth [by 2000]. By 2010, we had five billion people connected. Now we are getting to 50 billion devices.

"I can guarantee that in the next five years this is just going to get faster. Everything that needs to be connected will be connected, [and this is the] Network Society."

He said this society is the fifth technological revolution in human history, and extends past the ICT revolution.

Mr Vestberg’s idea of Network Society is also aligned with the European Commission’s Gigabit Europe 2025, which aims to give broadband services to every European and increases speeds.

"The rest of the world will [deploy faster broadband services] and it is extremely important that governments [in the EU] understand that cloud and broadband is crucial infrastructure," he said.

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"It brings growth to the country and includes people in the country. Technology wise, it is proven it works, but we need a thought leadership form governments.

"We need to think this is an infrastructure to create the country, connect people and help reduce rural areas struggle. We need to think like the 21st century."

Mr Vestberg’s was later joined on stage by representatives from Google, Vodafone and Nokia, who backed his call on the need to act now to step up broadband roll out across Europe.

Sven Heistermann, director telecoms EMEA strategic relationships at Google, said: "We strongly support the EC vision of establishing gigabit [speeds] by 2025 and its benefits. The time is now to start to cooperate. Let’s all work together now and not wait."

Kathrin Buvac, chief strategy officer at Nokia, also said that to achieve the EC’s vision, the real challenge is not the technology but getting the vertical sectors, "which are very strong in Europe, to come closer together with the telco and comms worlds".

"We need full partnerships, full ecosystems to work together. When it comes to rural areas in my opinion they are humanitarian, it is about providing low cost connectivity", she said.

"The technology is here, we need to make sure we connect local communities. I consider technology and communication almost a human right."

Lastly, Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO at Vodafone Deutschland, said that this is crucial as it is about competitiveness to develop companies.

"Firstly, we need to bring fibre to the streets. Secondly, we need fibre at the base stations; we need an environment that enables growth.

"Speed and expansion is great but one thing that we have not discussed yet is latency, 5G latency is one millisecond and this will be crucial.

"It is possible by 2025, if we have the focus."

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