Empowering the future with European 5G technology

Ericsson is ready to help Europe enter a new digital age, writes Karl Pihl.
Photo credit: Ericsson

By Karl Pihl

02 Dec 2019

Europe has made the delivery of a new digital age a key objective, and 5G will be instrumental in achieving it. The scale of 5G mobile communications technology enables an ecosystem of players to innovate on a cost-efficient platform.


It is vital for Europe’s industrial base, especially for small and medium-size enterprises that employ two thirds of the continent’s workforce and generate more than half of its financial total turnover. This all-digital infrastructure will drive the development of new and sustainable use cases and business models as well as transform industries and society as we know them. Superior communication capacity and connectivity will sharpen the competitive edge of European manufacturing and transform its public services. Ericsson is spurring this development by ensuring rapid and efficient roll out of 5G. We are the first to deploy 5G in four continents with 76 5G contract and agreements.

"Superior communication capacity and connectivity will sharpen the competitive edge of European manufacturing and its transform public services"

In Europe we are the provider for 10 of the 5G networks currently Live. Already back in 2010 and 2011, Ericsson’s researchers had a clear vision of what 5G should become and began working on its development. Today, that work has transformed Ericsson into a leader in the 5G technology race, according to a recent study. Together with European industry partners we are continuously testing, learning and pushing the boundaries of 5G to see how can meet the diverse needs of today and the future.

Europe has always been in the centre of our global ambition. 60 percent of Ericsson’s 25,000 global R&D staff are located in Europe across 18 sites, including Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden. We also have over 100 joint research collaborations with universities and academic institutions across Europe such as in Finland, Italy and Spain.

In our European 5G manufacturing we have implemented smart manufacturing methods based on a dedicated cellular network in our plant in Estonia. We are also present with manufacturing in Poland, Hungary and Romania. Our suppliers of electronic components for our 5G radio hardware are from Europe too but also from South Korea, Japan and the US.

Our capacity to supply 5G has already passed the mark of more than four million 5G ready radios that require only a remote software installation to deliver 5G to end users. All Ericsson software, not just the one needed to activate 5G in the radios, is verified, signed and distributed centrally from Sweden, and, when required, under Swedish export licenses. If all these 5G radio units were updated by remote software in one go, it would correspond to covering the whole of Europe and the US, giving over one billion users 5G coverage instantaneously. Every day we ship 5G radios in volumes that are enough to cover the entire greater Paris area with 5G.

Founded in 1876 in a small workshop by two people in Stockholm, Ericsson is a true example of an SME that scaled, grew and expanded to become a global company. From the telegraph, through all generations of mobile communications, Ericsson has been leading the way.

Today, Ericsson is doing business in 180 countries, and our European DNA is based on the innovation, foresight and entrepreneurship of four great European innovators: Lars Magnus Ericsson, (Sweden), Nikola Tesla, (Croatia), Guglielmo Marconi (Italy and UK) and Anton Kathrein Sr. (Germany). These founders have in different ways contributed to making Ericsson what it is today. With our 5G technology as the foundation for digital transformation, we are ready to enable the success of European companies. Together we are speeding up Europe.