Ericsson to add 300 jobs in US targeting 5G deals

Mobile telecom equipment maker Ericsson will add around 300 jobs in the United States to meet demand for 5G equipment.
Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm at MWC 2018
US-based telecom operators such as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are in the process of adding 5G networks to boost their ARPU.

Sweden-based Ericsson said it would be aiming to employ engineers and artificial intelligence specialists.

A recent report said China is spending more funds in 5G networks as compared with US and other telecom markets.

After a broad restructuring and clear out of top management, Ericsson is tackling falling spending on networks by telecoms operators, but it has added recruits in research and development in order to be ready to meet eventual demand for 5G networks, Reuters reported on Friday.

The company, which has around 95,000 employees worldwide, said it would build its first 5G radios in the United States by the end of this year.

Ericsson competes with telecom equipment players such as Huawei and ZTE of China, Finland’s Nokia and Samsung from Korea.

Recently, Nokia announced a $3.5 billion 5G network equipment deal with T-Mobile beating Ericsson. This is the largest 5G equipment deal in the world. T-Mobile US, which is trying to merge with Sprint in a $26 billion deal, is the third biggest U.S. mobile carrier.

The United States is Ericsson’s largest market, accounting for around 25 percent of its annual revenue.

Last month, the company posted an unexpected swing to a modest operating profit citing growing sales traction in North America.

Ericsson predicts that 5G subscriptions will reach the 150 million-mark, accounting for 48 percent of all mobile subscriptions in North America by the end of 2023.

Ericsson in late 2017 opened the Austin ASIC Design Center in Austin, Texas, to focus on core microelectronics of 5G radio base stations to accelerate the path to 5G commercialization. The 1,400-square-meter facility will have 80 employees once fully staffed.

Ericsson will open a software development center with baseband focus in 2018, employing more than 200 software engineers once fully operational. This facility and its employees will strengthen Ericsson’s 5G software development.

Beginning in 2019, both of these facilities will introduce 5G products and software features into the Ericsson portfolio, and will be available for customers globally, including in the US.

Ericsson will increase its investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation, employing around 100 specialists in North America by the end of 2018.

Ericsson will recruit a team to work specifically on introducing products for the US market, conducting production engineering, testing/integration and supply preparations on early prototypes, Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm said.

Ericsson will begin manufacturing of 5G products in the US in the fourth quarter of 2018 to operate closer to customers — providing volume production of next-generation radios and the fast introduction of new products into the US market.

Initially, Ericsson will work with a production partner and the first radios for the US will be produced before the end of 2018.