How to navigate in a changing world: Success in evolving 5G ecosystems

Back in 2020, as part of our practitioners’ guide to 5G, we wrote a post exploring how 5G is transforming the mobile ecosystem. Two years down the track, this transformation has become reality. We’re watching the 5G cellular landscape evolve before our eyes, as 5G, IT and industry verticals meet in the most dynamic and collaborative ecosystem the telecom sector has ever experienced, all looking to unlock – and take advantage of – the full potential of 5G.

The businesses emerging on top in this evolving landscape are those paying close attention to the ecosystem(s) around them and the role they play. They see the potential to unlock new values when solutions expand the scope beyond traditional procurement or industry silos. As Harvard Business School Professor Theodore Levitt stated: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”

This metaphor summarizes the current situation in the cellular landscape well. Those gaining advantage are not those who are focused on their existing products or company, but those focused on their customers’ needs and wants. They’re looking at how the emerging technologies, and ecosystem collaborations, can offer solutions that have a transformative impact on their customers’ business. This is why mapping out and understanding ecosystems has become an essential foundation for selling business outcomes.

As the cellular ecosystem evolves, borders become less defined with other industry and sector ecosystems – and collaboration becomes more important than ever before.

As the cellular ecosystem evolves, borders become less defined with other industry and sector ecosystems – and collaboration becomes more important than ever before.

Learn the landscape from a leader in ecosystem collaboration

As a mobile infrastructure provider, Ericsson has touchpoints to several different ecosystems where cellular connectivity is required, and are working to build bridges and stronger relationships within these landscapes. We continue to certify new devices through the Ericsson device hub, not just smartphones but all devices connecting with a cellular network. We broker contacts between 5G innovators and mobile service providers world through the Ericsson startup 5G initiative. And for cross-industry collaborations, we have created a co-creation space – Ericsson D-15 in Santa Clara. These initiatives have given us valuable experience and insights into how the cellular landscape is changing, and all the ecosystems it touches.  

Learn more about Ericsson D-15 Labs, a co-creation space for collaboration between our partners and ecosystem companies.

The intersection of ecosystems where cellular, IT and vertical industry ecosystems meet is a critical one – but can be highly complex, and difficult to understand. The cellular ecosystem is continuously evolving, especially around significant generation shifts like the present one from 4G to 5G. The IT ecosystem is central to the digital transformation of businesses and the rapid adoption of cloud-based applications, while each vertical industry ecosystem faces unique challenges regarding connecting and digitalizing the business.

A masterclass in evolving ecosystems

In order to help you understand this shifting and growing ‘ecosystem of ecosystems’, we have been putting together a series of blog posts, with insights from a range of experts, using real-world examples and case studies.

Across the course of five episodes, we’ll answer a broad range of questions, including:

  • How is the cellular ecosystem evolving as we transition from 4G to 5G?
  • What are the five ecosystem lenses for efficient stakeholder interactions?
  • How can I map out ecosystem relationships so all stakeholders can play better?
  • How can I use a place as the anchor for value creation?
  • How can an ecosystem help an industry with high potential to scale?

We’re hoping this series will act as an episodic masterclass in navigating the new 5G cellular landscape and its surroundings, giving you better tools for collaborations across ecosystem borders, where understanding each other’s perspectives is a crucial challenge.

Choose your own (ecosystem) adventure

Teaching is never a one-way experience. We’re also expecting to learn a lot from you during this journey together – which is why we’re leaving a final sixth episode open-ended. We intend to close the series with a collaborative grand finale episode, covering any and all burning questions you still have or areas you’d like to learn more about.

Sign up and join us for an exciting journey

If you are excited about learning more, you can sign up now to receive all the episodes as they are published. Each post will come in the written, audio, and summary form, with a video format to follow once each episode has been battle-tested. 

Sign up for the ecosystem evolution blog series here.

If you have ideas or suggestions for how you’d like this series to end, please contact the authors via their LinkedIn profiles: Peter LinderHarald BaurTaimur Lodhi or Martin Ekstrand.

Acknowledgement: The authors of this ecosystem evolution blog series would like to acknowledge the work and contributions of Arthur D. Little, who conducted a joint analysis with us earlier in 2022.


Read more:

Collaborate with Ericsson’s enterprise ecosystem, where our partners help enterprises to accelerate digital transformation with cellular devices and integration, industry specific software and applications, as well as system integration and business advisory.

Discover Ericsson D-15, our co-creation space in Santa Clara, where you can shape leading technology into sustainable solutions.

Learn more about Ericsson Startup 5G. Where we connect Communication Service Providers with the right consumer innovation partners to help them accelerate the successful commercialization and monetization of 5G.

Find the right connected device for your service and application easily with Ericsson Device Hub, a one-stop-shop for global device testing and certification.

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