@ MWC: Ericsson covers 77% of all LTE customers and half of all smartphone traffic

BARCELONA — To get a sense of how massive Ericsson’s presence is in the mobile industry, consider that half of all smartphone traffic flows through their equipment and services.

The Swedish juggernaut also has a significant jump on its competition with LTE technology, which is growing rapidly in North America and South Korea. Out of more than 325 million LTE subscribers worldwide, Ericsson covers 250 million of those customers. And over the course of 2011, the company’s market share in network infrastructure grew from 32 percent to 38 percent.

President and CEO Hans Vestberg said today the company holds more than 30,000 patents covering 2G, 3G and 4G technology, thanks in part to the $5 billion it spends on research and development every year. He added that the company is committed to being No. 1 in network infrastructure for mobile broadband, managed services and support solutions (OSS/BSS).
Vestberg reiterated the key themes he’s been discussing the past couple years, including the rapid adoption of smartphones and a dramatic rise in network traffic.

Nearly three-quarters of all the time spent on smartphones today has nothing to do with voice calls, Vestberg said. Just five years ago, 90 percent of the time spent on mobile phones was to make a call.

In addition to some new equipment unveiled today, Vestberg also announced a new partnership with Western Union. Western Union CMO Diane Scott said more than 2 billion people around the world have little or no access to financial services. Both companies hope to change that by integrating Western Union’s mobile money transfer network with Ericsson’s m-commerce solutions, enabling carriers to more quickly launch mobile financial services for customers.