Ericsson was established in Malaysia in 1964. A year later a contract was signed with Telekom Malaysia for the delivery of a crossbar switch. In 1970 a factory was built in Shah Alam for making cables and AXE telephone exchanges. Within the framework of the expansion plan current during the 1990s, Ericsson invested in yet another manufacturing facility in Shah Alam. In early 2000, the facility exported daily two, fully loaded Airbus freight planes corresponding to around ten percent of Ericsson’s world-wide market.
In 1980 the first AXE telephone exchange in Southeast Asia went on line in Pelangi, Johor province, and in 1984 Telekom Malaysia was provided with the country’s first mobile telephone network named ATUR. In 1984 mobile telephones were introduced in Malaysia and the same year a manufacturing facility was inaugurated in Kota Bharu.
During 1997 Malaysia’s first factory for making mobile telephones was opened and named Ericsson Mobile Communications Sdn Bhd. The factory had the capacity for supplying Oceania with mobile telephones and during the first three years more than four million were made. In addition the Ericsson Hewlett-Packard Telecommunication (EHPT) Sdn Bhd was formed. The next year saw the formation of Ericsson Business Support Centre Sdn Bhd and Ericsson Business Consulting Sdn Bhd.
At the turn of the millennium, four Ericsson companies have been granted Mobile Switching Center (MSC) status, namely Ericsson Business Consulting Sdn Bhd, Ericsson Business Support Centre Sdn Bhd, EHPT Sdn Bhd and Ericsson Academy (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. This meant that they could function as regional centres and supply Oceania with products and service. These centres played a large role in Malaysia’s technological change-over.
Ericsson has played an active role in Malaysia’s history, as the company has been part of the development of the country’s telecom industry. In 2000, Ericsson was the largest supplier of fixed and mobile networks in Malaysia.
Author: Centre for Business History