On April 7th, 2016 all Ericsson employees around the world celebrated their company’s 140 years anniversary under the slogan “140 Years of Innovating Ahead”.
Founded by Lars Magnus Ericsson in 1876, Ericsson grew from a mechanical engineering shop in a modest 13-square-meter facility to a multinational company that today employs around 115,000 people, operates in 180 countries and holds 39,000 patents.
For 140 years, Ericsson’s ideas, technology and people have created monumental impact, and real turning points that have transformed lives, industries and society as a whole.
Ericsson’s story is full of turning points as it has led transformation by innovating and applying some of the most powerful technologies ever invented including mobile telephony, Bluetooth, 4G, Internet of Things, and 5G.
“The progression towards the Networked Society, in which everything that can benefit from being connected will be connected, is continuous our region. There is still a way to go, but we can see significant steps being taken across several countries in the region. These investments will empower more and more entities to harness the power of technology in a way that empowers them to monetize the transformation, and become change makers in their own right. Our goal is to attain and maintain a certain stage of infrastructure maturity, which will empower the region to reap the benefits of the integrated and digital Networked Society,” said Rafiah Ibrahim, President of Ericsson Region Middle East and Africa.
The company had its first historical milestone, in Region Middle East & Africa, in the 1890s with the installation of the first telephone line in the Dolmabahçe Palace, in Istanbul Turkey. This line is still active today, and has played witness to many more milestones across the company’s 140 year presence.
In the 1890s, Ericsson’s presence in the MENA region grew with the first telephone exchange in Egypt in 1897, and the commencement of sales of telephone receivers in Ethiopia in 1894. Yet, telephony services in Turkey and Egypt grew through the 1920s. In fact, during that period Ericsson was effective in selling large numbers of telephones and this when the word “Ericsson” became a generic term for a telephone in the Middle East.
The company was there to introduce many firsts in Middle East & North East Africa including some the first GSM networks, the first thirds generation networks, and radio dot system installations.
These days are riddled with many other firsts as well, such as the first LTE-A network in Lebanon recently, the introduction of the first radio dot system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the first non-operator industry transformations to the Networked Society in the region.
On the occasion of this celebration, Ericsson offices across the region held events with employees on April 7th in Egypt, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Iran, Lebanon, Sudan, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Pakistan, Oman, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Ethiopia. More testimonials and examples of Ericsson’s transformative contributions to the region will be shared on social media throughout the month.