Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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L. M. Ericsson and Co. of Stockholm

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1876 Lars Magnus Ericsson opened his workshop to repair telegraph instruments.

Once the telephone arrived in Sweden, Ericsson began being commissioned to repair and install the new invention. He quickly realized the possibilities of the telephone and started improving and creating his own versions of the device.

1878 The first telephones were manufactured by Ericsson.

1881 He won his first major contracts in Norway, Russia and Sweden

1896 The company had produced over 100,000 telephones. The company was incorporated; it had more than 500 employees.

1900 1000 employees globally, turnover SEK 4 million; 50,000 telephones produced

1903 British L. M. Ericsson Manufacturing Co was registered as a private company in Britain to acquire Ericsson's UK business as a manufacturer of apparatus and appliances in connection with telephones and telegraphs[1]. Capital provided in equal parts by L. M. Ericsson and Co. of Stockholm and National Telephone Co Ltd[2].

1919 L.M. Ericsson, AGA and ASEA set up Svenska Radioaktiebolaget (SRA), a radio station. To ensure SRA had access to international know-how, the Marconi company was also invited to take part. Premises were rented in Stockholm. During its first year of operation, SRA constructed receivers and transmitters that were suitable for two-way radio communication.

1923 SRA became the Swedish pioneer in broadcasting.

1923 The company's first automatic 500-point telephone switches were put into service.

1925 AB Radiotjänst was established with both the state and the radio industry as owners. It took over broadcasting in Sweden.

During its first ten years, the factory at Alströmergatan produced more than 150,000 Radiola radio sets.

1927 L.M. Ericsson acquired the shares of its Swedish partners in SRA, reaching a holding of 57 percent.

1928 Radiola sets were equipped with built-in loudspeakers

1929 the first SRA gramophone was introduced.

1935 SRA demonstrated the first “picture radio” as it was called at the local offices of the Stockholm newspapers. This involved experimental television transmissions in collaboration with the German radio manufacturer Loewe.

1948 Sold its British subsidiary (Ericsson Telephones) with an agreement that the parent company would not sell any telephone equipment in Britain for 20 years[3].

1950 An Ericsson telephone exchange supported the world's first international call

c.1968 L.M. Ericsson re-entered the British market supplying a private branch exchange to the Greater London Council[4].

1968 The company's first computer-controlled, automated switching system, the AKE, was launched.

1977 The company's first digital telephone exchange (AXE) was installed

1988 First GSM system order from Vodafone in UK

1991 AXE lines exceed 105 million in 11 countries, serving 34 million subscribers

Ericsson developed its own synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) products (for high-speed digital communication between telephone exchanges and other network nodes) up until 1995.

Ericsson developed wavelength-division multiplexing (WDH) products (which raises the capacity of existing fibre networks) until just after 2000.

During the 1990s, Ericsson divested itself of a large number of operations, partly to streamline its operations (including SDH and WDH), partly because it had to. In respect of SDH and WDH, Ericsson had started to distribute Marconi equipment instead.

1996 In the UK Swedish Ericsson Co was renamed Ericsson (Holdings) Ltd

2000 Ericsson became the world's leading supplier of 3G mobile systems

2005 The growing convergence between different systems meant that some of the expertise that had been divested in the 1990s had again become of interest. Now investments in triple play, in particular, were leading to increased demand for WDM technology. One step to fill the gap was to acquire a major holding in Marconi Corporation.

2005 Ericsson was contracted to manage operator 3's networks in Italy and the UK

2009 Verizon and Ericsson collaborate to carry out first data call on 4G network

2011 Ericsson completed the acquisition of Telcordia

2012 Ericsson completed the acquisition of BelAir

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. The Times, 31 May 1926
  3. The Times, 3 July 1972
  4. The Times, 3 July 1972
  • [1] Ericsson Corporate History