Ericsson and Silicon Valley
Ericsson’s establishment in Silicon Valley in connection with the acquisition of Redback answered a long-standing and passionately discussed question within the company. The internet world is governed from Silicon Valley and for every year that passed there was more convergence between the internet and mobile worlds.
Jan Uddenfeldt, who was stationed in Silicon Valley in 2008 to lead the work on issues relating to technological strategies, says: “The internet changed the world of telecommunications; now mobility is changing the internet. Positioning ourselves in the middle of the center of the IT world gives us a much-needed channel to the sector.” Bert Nordberg was also placed there to become the chairman of Redback and of Entrisphere. He was succeeded in his post as head of Sales & Marketing at Ericsson by Torbjörn Possne.
From its office in San Jose, Ericsson is only a few minutes away from competitors such as Apple, Google, Intel and Cisco. Ericsson’s operations are still based on what used to be Redback’s units, with a focus on applications and devices for IP technologies, and Entrisphere, in fiber optics.
RAISE NETWORK TRAFFIC
“For us the most important thing was for new products to arrive that would raise network traffic,” Uddenfeldt says. For instance, Ericsson initiated collaboration with Google on Android. Sony Ericsson is developing devices for Android and ST-Ericsson is producing chips that support Android. “Android should be able to generate business that also benefits Ericsson. We can become a supplier to someone who wants to produce a Google phone.”
Ericsson is also working on applications for solutions that work not only with Java and Symbian but also with Apple and Android. “It is in Ericsson’s interest for applications to work on as many devices as possible. That benefits the market and makes things easier for users,” Uddenfeldt says.
The contacts with Intel contributed to a shift concerning Intel’s vaunted Moorestown processor chip. Intel had invested heavily in WiMAX and in September 2008 the company was still claiming that it had no plans to incorporate HSPA or LTE into its package. A month later it was announced that Ericsson was to supply a 3G modem for the Moorestown.
“That involved integrating Intel’s processors and Ericsson’s HSPA modem chips,” Uddenfeldt says.
“What interests us is getting HSPA into many different contexts. First we developed HSPA modules for PCs, and several manufacturers such as Dell and Lenovo have built them into their machines. With Intel we took this one step further and reduced the size of the module even more. We can see this development continuing, with 3G and LTE chips being included in many different kinds of devices, such as games, e-books and GPS navigators.”
Author: Svenolof Karlsson & Anders Lugn