Ericsson CEO speaks to news media mobile strategy in a world of 5G

By Western iMedia

Western iMedia

Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA




Hans Vestburg, CEO of Ericsson, took the stage at the Pullman hotel in London during the INMA World Congress on Monday, focusing on the topic of mobile and the consumer revolution. 

“Whatever technical revolution you’ve seen so far, has been so slow,” Vestburg said. He added, however, that will change soon in the near future.

Hans Vestburg, CEO of Ericsson, wowed INMA World Congress delegates with the promised speed of 5G.
Hans Vestburg, CEO of Ericsson, wowed INMA World Congress delegates with the promised speed of 5G.

Education, healthcare, energy, security, public services, and transportation are some of the several industries that still have much room to grow when it comes to implementing technology.

One thing that is important when looking at different industries and groups over the years is that society is the last to adopt the technology. 

Vestburg also introduced something new and different from any other technology: 5G, which is 350 times faster than 4G, meaning it runs at 25 GB per second. It’s the sign for a different type of industry.

“2G, 3G and 4G were designed for consumers … 5G is designed for different types of news cases,” he said. 

“I know you have been part of a large transformation in the industry,” Vestburg said to the audience. “The only thing I can promise you is the speed of the transformation ... is skyrocketing in comparison to the last 25 years.”

A mobile panel discusses the challenges and opportunities of mobile today.
A mobile panel discusses the challenges and opportunities of mobile today.

Wil Harris, Debby Krenek, and Padraic Woods took the stage next to discuss strategies to make mobile devices — smartphones in particular — engaging and lucrative.

Harris, chief digital officer Condé Nast publications, spoke first in the panel focusing on GQ and the changes it made to satisfy its mobile audience.

Company leadershipd three goals:

  1. Increase the pages users read.

  2. Decrease time for journalists to write.

  3. Increase the pounds per page.

Since users utilise smartphones differently than desktop, the company had to cater to what platform its audience would be on the most, which was mobile.

It’s really important for that when people come in for an article, they have plenty of things to see, Harris said. So when designing the app, they made every page look like it was a home page. This allows users to do more on the site rather than reading the article and moving on.

“Forget the home page. Forget desktop,” Harris said.

Krenek, senior vice president of digital and editorial director at Newsday, discussed the success the company has seen since it embraced mobile: “We were kind of early adopters of mobile.” 

Mobile is their fastest-growing platform with 79% mobile users and 21% desktop.

The company has found success by creating easy ways for readers to access the most recently updated version of a news story, because readers like to know what’s going on in real time. Newsday segments its audience and sends users personalised alerts based on their preferences. Their average open rate for breaking news alerts is 4%.

“The more people use our digital products, the more loyal they are,” she said.

Woods, mobile development manager at VG, wrapped up the panel talking about VG’s implementation of mobile.

VG reaches 56% of the Norwegian population each day, and 25% of the population reads VG on their mobile every day. He believes companies need to move from broadcast journalism to a more personalised story experience.

If we know who the user is, we can target that user with more relevant content, he said: “Mobile is where our users are,” Woods said. “Mobile is where our focus is.”

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