Ericsson is a Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company headquartered in Stockholm. The company sells infrastructure, software, and services in information and communications technology for telecommunications service providers and enterprises, including, among others, 3G, 4G, and 5G equipment, and Internet Protocol (IP) and optical transport systems. The company employs around 100,000 people and operates in more than 180 countries. Ericsson has over 57,000 granted patents.
Ericsson has been a major contributor to the development of the telecommunications industry and is one of the leaders in 5G.
The company was founded in 1876 by Lars Magnus Ericsson and is jointly controlled by the Wallenberg family through its holding company Investor AB and the investment company Industrivärden. The Wallenbergs and the Handelsbanken sphere acquired their voting-strong A-shares, and thus the control of Ericsson, after the fall of the Kreuger empire in the early 1930s.
Ericsson is the inventor of Bluetooth technology.
As production grew in the late 1890s, and the Swedish market seemed to be reaching saturation, Ericsson expanded into foreign markets through a number of agents. The UK (Ericsson Telephones Ltd.) and Russia were early markets, where factories were later established improve the chances of gaining local contracts and to augment the output of the Swedish factory. In the UK, the National Telephone Company was a major customer; by 1897 sold 28% of its output in the UK. The Nordic countries were also Ericsson customers; they were encouraged by the growth of telephone services in Sweden.
Other countries and colonies were exposed to Ericsson products through the influence of their parent countries. These included Australia and New Zealand, which by the late 1890s were Ericsson’s largest non-European markets. Mass production techniques now firmly established; telephones were losing some of their ornate finish and decoration.
Despite their successes elsewhere, Ericsson did not make significant sales into the United States. The Bell Group, Kellogg and Automatic Electric dominated the market. Ericsson eventually sold its U.S. assets. Sales in Mexico led to inroads into South American countries. South Africa and China were also generating significant sales. With his company now multinational, Lars Ericsson stepped down from the company in 1901.