Ericsson has named Erik Ekudden as its new Group Chief Technology Officer as it looks ahead to the 5G era.

Ekudden will lead the vendor’s technology strategy with a particular focus on building the “network platform of the future” to enable its customers’ new business models, the vendor said in a statement.

He will take the position from 1 July.

An Ericsson insider with 24 years’ experience at the company, Ekudden moves from the roles of Head of Group Technology Strategy and CTO of Ericsson in Silicon Valley, which he has held for the last seven years.

During this time he has been based in California, working on engaging customers and partners as well as research.

The Group CTO role was most recently held by Ulf Ewaldsson, who moved from the position in September 2016. He is now Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Digital Services.

Börje Ekholm, Ericsson CEO, praised Ekudden’s “broad experience from the technology area”.

He said: “He is uniquely qualified to support customers and partners, prepare for the opportunities and challenges of the next wave of technology shifts around 5G, IoT, and digitalisation."

Ekudden said 5G would provide a “platform for innovation that will create new business models for consumers and enterprises”.

“We see a fundamental shift in networks technology, which will be unprecedented in terms of speed and low latency.

“My mission will be to define the technology direction of Ericsson and to work closely with customers to design and operate those technologies in the most effective and efficient way.”

Ekudden said the vendor will focus in particular on the distributed cloud and evolution of mobile systems globally.

Ericsson recently saw sales and profits tumble in its first quarter 2017 results, with CEO Ekholm, who took the position in January, describing the figures as “unsatisfactory.”

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