Ericsson (Telefonaktiebolaget L. M. Ericsson) NASDAQ: ERICY is a Swedish telecommunications equipment manufacturer, founded in 1876 as a telegraph equipment repair shop by Lars Magnus Ericsson. more...
In the early 20th century, Ericsson dominated the world market for manual telephone exchanges but was late to introduce automatic equipment. The world's largest ever manual telephone exchange, serving 60,000 lines, was installed by Ericsson in Moscow in 1916. In the 1990s, Ericsson held a 35-40 percent market share of installed cellular telephone systems.
Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is considered to be part of the so-called Wireless Valley.
Like most of the telecommunications equipment industry, Ericsson suffered heavy losses after the telecommunications crash in the early years of the 2000s. The company had to lay off tens of thousands of staff worldwide in an attempt to staunch the losses.
As of 2004, Ericsson is making an operational profit again. The loss making handsets division was divested into a joint venture with Sony, called Sony Ericsson. Ericsson now concentrates on its core systems: supplying infrastructure for all major wireless technologies and modernizing existing copper lines for broadband services. In addition, it has one of the largest services divisions in the telecom industry and is steadily growing in new areas such as managed services.
Lars Magnus Ericsson's mechanical repair shop was started together with his friend Carl Johan Andersson. The company was situated at Drottninggatan 15, central Stockholm. In 1878 Ericsson was given the task to modify some telephones from the Bell company by the local importer Numa Peterson. This inspired him to buy a number of Siemens telephones and analyze the telephone equipment further. (It should be noted that Ericsson had been studying at Siemens during a scholarship trip a few years back.) At the end of the year he started to manufacture telephones of his own, much in the image of the Siemens telephones, and the first product was finished in 1879.
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