postcard from sweden; e stands for ericsson


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E stands for Ericsson – a world of communication

Ericsson (Telefonaktiebolaget L. M. Ericsson) is a Swedish multinational provider of communications technology and services.

LM Ericsson logo - esato com

The offering comprises services, software and infrastructure within Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for telecom operators and other industries, including telecommunications and IP networking equipment, mobile and fixed broadband, operations and business support solutions, cable TV, IPTV, video systems, and an extensive services operation. Ericsson is the world leader in the 2G/3G/4G mobile network infrastructure market (35% in 2012)

Lars-Magnus-Ericsson_affarsvarlden se

Founder Lars Magnus Ericsson (1846 –1926) was a Swedish inventor, in 1900 he retired from Ericsson at the age of 54. He kept his shares in the company until 1905 and then sold them all.
The Company HQ is in Stockholm; Leif Johansson, chairman and Hans Vestberg, president and CEO.
Ericsson has 114,340 employees worldwide and with net sales SEK 227.4 billion/USD 34.9 billion
Number of patents: 35,000

1876 – Founding
On April 1, 1876, LM Ericsson was founded at Drottninggatan 15 in Stockholm and on September 18 the company delivered two signal telegraph of its own design to the state railways.
Invited guests gathered at the Grand Hotel for a demonstration of the first telephone in Sweden. Lines were drawn from a hotel room to the central telephone station at Slottsbacken operated by Televerket, the Swedish PTT. The apparatus allowed conversations to take place between persons in the hotel room and others at the central telephone station.

First Swedish phone company - ericssonhistory com

Lars Magnus Ericsson begins to receive telephones for repair. He also starts his own manufacture of telephones.
1881 – Breakthrough in Gävle
It became a breakthrough for Ericsson’s manufacturing of telephone equipment when the newly established telephone association in Gävle selected Ericsson’s telephones and switchboard over Stockholms Bell Telefonaktiebolag.

Ericsson wall phone - au

The wall telephone set was launched.
The first “Dachshund” model was launched and became a big seller for several decades.
With the cylindrical metal telephone from 1893, Ericsson took the first step in converting the desk telephone from a simple device to an attractive product with hidden technology.
LM Ericsson & Co was transformed to a limited liability company on April 1. The number of telephones manufactured exceeded 25.000 during this year.

Ericsson_Taxen_ “Dachshund” - wikipedia org 1907
In the US, a telephone plant was established and production started in Buffalo, New York.
The first telephone station in Mexico was completed and operational, and was run by an Ericsson subsidiary company, Mexeric. This was Ericsson’s first entry in the Latin market.
The number of subscribers grew fast and operations were succesful, but soon, in the 1910s Mexico fell into civil war which lasted for almost ten years.
1923 – The 500-switch
The first station with the 500-switching system in regular operation was opened in 1923. And it was chosen by televerket, the PPT for its network in Stockholm.

Ivar Kreuger - svd se 1932 – Kreuger
The financier Ivar Kreuger gathered increasing power until he controlled Ericsson in the 1930’s. After he committed suicide in 1932, it was discovered that he had sold the Swedish company to its largest competitor, the American company ITT. The financial problems resulting from the Kreuger crash would affect Ericsson for decades.
1950 – Increased internationalization in the 1950s and 60s
During the 1950s and 60s, Ericsson increased its operations outside Sweden. Previously, the company had mainly operated telephone networks in other countries on concession, but now manufacturing plants were established.
The establishment of manufacturing plants outside Sweden was a result in part of increased sales efforts and in part from being forced. Many countries, particularly in Latin America, demanded that the manufacture of telephone equipment should be located within the country.

1956 – The Ericofon & first mobile phone
The Ericofon was launched in 1956, popularly called the Cobra. It was a one-piece telephone, manufactured in six different colors which was a minor revolution in the black and white telephone world.

Ericsson’s very first mobile phone was designed in 1956. It weighed 40 kilos and was about the size of a suitcase.

Ericsson - Dialog_1966_wikipedia org

The Dialog was introduced in 1962 and was manufactured by both Ericsson and Televerket. It was a light telephone with a modern design that could take being dropped on the floor.
1970 – Ellemtel
Ericsson and Televerket decided that joint development of a commercial electronic switching system would be the most effective approach. The development company Ellemtel was therefore formed in 1970 with Ericsson and Televerket as co-owners.
Ericsson celebrated its 100th birthday with the launching of the first prototype AXE station. The prototype was installed in Televerket’s station in Södertälje.
1977 – The AXE system
After several years of development work, the computer-controlled AXE switching system was launched in 1977. AXE was very flexible and could easily be adapted to different customer requirements by simply changing a module or two. The AXE’s speed and flexibility also laid the foundation for Ericsson’s success in mobile telephony.

Ericsson - AXE - nyteknik se 1978 -Saudi Arabia
Together with the Dutch company Philips, Ericsson received a huge order in 1978. The assignment called for increasing capacity in Saudi Arabia’s telephone network by more that 200 percent and installing the new computer-controlled AXE system. This was Sweden’s largest export order ever and an extremely profitable deal for Ericsson.
1981 -The explosive 80s
The 1970s were a difficult decade for Ericsson. The oil crisis meant lost orders. The AXE system took longer to develop than expected. The situation did not improve until the Saudi Arabian order in 1978.
The following decade was characterized by large fluctuations. Deregulation of telecom markets around the world meant that the previous situation with one customer per country was changing. At the same time, Ericsson’s AXE system was ready for the market, and there were a number of new players who wanted to buy it.

Ericsson - AXE - ericssonhistory com 1982
Ericsson Information Systems was launched in 1982. The ambition was to invest in telephony and data for business customers with the Ericsson PC as the icing on the cake. These operations quickly began generating significant losses, however, and were sold in the late 1980s.

ericsson mobile - idg se

1992 – Mobile telephony
During the first 115 years of its history, Ericsson regarded itself as an engineering company primarily focused on telecommunications. Quite simply, the company was a manufacturer.
Today Ericsson sees itself as a communications company that enables people all over the world to make themselves heard. Communication is the primary focus, while the manufacture of the underlying technology is of secondary importance.
It was mobile telephony that made a global company with more than 100,000 employees redefine itself.
Sales of both mobile systems and telephones increased by nearly 50 percent. Radio communication was also the business area that accounted for the lion’s share of sales: 63 percent. Public telecommunications was second with 19 percent.

Ericsson response - europapress es 2000
At the beginning of the new millennium, Ericsson launched Ericsson Response, a program to provide assistance in emergency situations. The program includes direct emergency assistance in the form of telecommunications equipment and expertise. Ericsson Response works in partnership with the United Nations for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children’s Fund, Unicef, and other international and non-profit organizations such as the International Federation of Red Cross, Red Crescent Societies and Save the Children. Today, about 140 Ericsson volunteers are active.
In October 2001, Ericsson’s cell phone division merged with the major Japanese home electronics firm Sony and formed SonyEricsson Communications.
Sony acquired Ericsson’s share in the venture in 2012.

The T610 cell phone model was Sony Ericsson’s breakthrough as a cell phone manufacturer. It was praised for its smoothly functioning multimedia features, its large color display with superb graphics, and not the least, its elegant, timeless design.
After a few years of deep crisis, Ericsson returned to profit during 2003.
Ericsson received the Best Access Technology recognition for its VDSL2 solution for fixed broadband access at the Broad World Forum.


Ericsson is one of the 6 Swedish companies onthe Top 100 Global Innovators 2013 list  and a 3xwinner through the years.

When Ericsson and Sony merged in 2001, every person in Sweden by the name Sony Ericsson got a free mobile phone. If I don’t remember wrongly they had to hand out a couple of 100s phones.

Even if I’m a very proud Swede … have I never agreed with Ericsson’s mobile phone – have been faithful to Finish Nokia, through the years.

Today there are more smartphones on this planet than cars.

“The telephone is a good way to talk to people ‘
without having to offer them a drink.”
Fran Lebowitz

I got help with facts, information and text from and

Ericsson_logo - ke

I had hoped to be able to use “Ring Ring” with ABBA for this post – but nothing good enough in my ears …. so I have chosen “One Of Us” instead. I would think that ABBA don’t need an introducing – “One Of Us” was released in 1981 – and really their first song with a sad undertone – it was when both marriages started to go wrong and it was the first single from their final studio album, The Vistors.

the vistors - uk

Images provided by and thanks to, without your images this post wouldn’t be possible:
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4 thoughts on “postcard from sweden; e stands for ericsson

  1. Thank you for this post, Viveka. Too often, in this rapidly changing world, we lose sight of the true pioneers, without whom we would not be where we are.

    • My pleasure … without Ericsson and their ideas … maybe we wouldn’t have our smart phones today.
      A very important company for the whole world, but I think most people only connect them with Sony Ericsson.
      Welcome back, on letter G a will write about a very special Swede, that I think will interest you.

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