Ericsson – A company that does more than one would think

Ericsson was started in 1876 and has since established itself as a dominant player in the telecommunications industry.

Since inception, Ericsson has had a strong desire to be at the forefront of technology and has invested consistent capital in research & development. Due to this, Ericsson has been the first to market on a wide range of products. At the tour of their innovation hall, we saw the first incarnation of mobile telephone devices. Some of these were as large as a suitcase and could only make calls for 20 minutes at a time and had a batter life of only 4 hours. From there, phones became increasingly smaller.

In addition to mobile devices, Ericsson has been a major player in the systems that operate as the backbone for mobile devices, such as the switches necessary to route data and voice calls. Ericsson is quick to point out that they no longer make mobile phones, however, due to their switches that are used for the back end of the communications process, they are still heavily involved in the mobile phone industry and will be for some time. This is not without competition, which we learned has some new players from China.

We learned that Ericsson puts a great focus on connectivity and the systems that support the connectivity of devices, from medical to automotive and even household connectivity. We learned about a robot that doctors could use that would be sent home with a patient. The doctor would be able to access the robot remotely from the hospital to check up on the patients, meaning that patients such as children could go home earlier. Studies have shown that patients leaving a hospital earlier can significantly shorten the recovery process. Ericsson even had a wired in “smart” house plant that tweets how it is feeling. We were also given an example of a smart home and how it would operate. The example was having your house contact you telling you that the lights had turned on, but you were not home, with the house offering to shut the lights off for you. Also, the house recommended closing the blinds to help reduce the electricity bill of keeping the house cool.

One of the things we learned is that by 2020, Ericsson estimates that over 50 billion devices worldwide will be connected, creating what is billed as a smart society. One of these examples was used in an automobile accident, such as a truck up ahead on the road that had crashed, your car would notify you within 50 milliseconds that an accident occurred and you should slow down, giving the driver the time necessary to avoid collision.

As with many of the companies that we have visited in Scandinavia, the employee culture seemed relaxed and Ericsson looked like a great place to work. A few of the employees had been with the company for years and enjoyed their job, making Ericsson not only a place dedicated to investing in technology, but its employees as well.

Jeremy & Tina

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