STOCKHOLM, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Telecoms gear maker Ericsson and mobile operator Telia on Thursday showcased a self-driving, electric bus in Stockholm as the companies look at new business areas ahead of mass deployment of 5G technology.
The bus will traffic a route in central Stockholm during September as part of a project looking at how to safely introduce self-driving buses in urban areas.
Chipmaker Intel, transport company Keolis and Urban ICT Arena were also part of the initiative.
“From the technology point of view, it’s all there, it’s all ready,” Jenny Lindqvist, vice president at Ericsson, told Reuters. “There are other factors that are outside of Ericsson’s control... in terms of regulations and how the vehicle manufacturers produce the vehicles.”
Automakers across the world are testing autonomous vehicles and 5G networks, with fast data transfer capabilities and high bandwidth, are expected to speed up the process.
Telia, which gets about a third of its revenue from business customers for telecom-related services, expects fleet management and other 5G-uses to be among leading growth areas.
“We have got many use cases and networks being built to take advantage of it,” Telia CEO Allison Kirkby told Reuters.
Telia was preparing for Sweden’s spectrum auction for 5G mobile infrastructure due in November which was originally planned for 2018, after the government spent “quite some time” addressing security concerns, she said. (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Helena Soderpalm;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)
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