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Commemorating 130 years in Australia

Ericsson began sales in Australia in 1890 through its agent C A Fahlstedt in Sydney. Telephone sales were very successful, and during the 1890s Australia became one of Ericsson’s largest markets outside Europe. In fact, in 1900, sales in Australia were greater than in Sweden.

Emilio Romeo

Emilio Romeo, Managing Director of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, reflects on 130 years and counting of the company’s past, present and future.  

There has never been a time in living history when Australians have experienced so much change. I truly believe that historians will look back at 2020 as a paradigm-shifting year where society had no choice but to adapt and embrace change.

Coincidentally, this year also marks Ericsson’s 130th year in Australia. And as we look to commemorate this significant milestone, I’d like to reflect on some of the positive changes that Ericsson has been able to bring about – as well as those that are undoubtedly yet to come.

As Börje Ekholm, Ericsson’s President and CEO said, “Our purpose is to empower an intelligent, sustainable, and connected world. For more than a century, we have been putting smart tools in the hands of people in every sector of our society, creating intelligent technologies that drive positive change.”

Connecting Australians for 130 years

Back in 1890, Ericsson first established its presence in Australia in the form of a sales and repair shop for the classic ‘candlestick’ telephone. Within ten years of opening, our sales overtook those in Sweden.

What set us apart from our competitors was the quality and design of our products, which led to our win for Australia’s first public telephone system in the 1960s. Subsequently, a state-of-the-art factory at Broadmeadows was built. At its peak, it was made up of 3,000 employees from many walks of life which remained in operation until 2007.

And as mobile technologies continued to evolve through the ages, Ericsson had played a pivotal role in shaping how Australians interact and communicate to this day.

Whether it be our contributions to Australia’s analogue cellular network with our Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS), the launch of 3G in partnership in Hutchinson, or the roll-out of the Southern Hemisphere’s first 5G network with Telstra, our role in the evolution and transformation of Australia’s telco industry cannot be denied. 

Our continued quest in driving positive change and industry innovation has ensured that Australia is, and remains, at the cutting edge of technology.

Beyond the technology

In our line of work, it can be easy to fixate on the technological achievements but I believe that our best work is displayed when we put people at the centre to drive positive change.

Ericsson was built on the premise that access to communication is a basic human right, and I’m proud to be part of a company that has enabled Australians to stay connected during these trying times.

Our company’s 130-year journey in Australia has been one blessed with the support of many. Whether you are part of the Ericsson team, a customer, or an industry partner, we simply wouldn’t be where we are today without your support.

Thank you for being part of Ericsson’s achievements in Australia, and here’s to the many more yet to come.

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Change has been the only constant in Ericsson’s 130-year history in Australia. Explore our journey, past, present and future.

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Technology for good

Through our many local and global initiatives, Ericsson is committed to creating positive impacts in society, and to using technology to drive sustainable change. 

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