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Driving technology leadership

A history of innovation

The importance of patents and technology innovation

Only a decade or so ago, just having a wireless phone was exciting. Mobile communication today is very different. Cellular is the most impactful technology in the world and more people on earth have access to cellular communication than a bank account. Our innovations have helped enable that transformation.

For further information on mobile and ICT patents and licensing, please get in touch.

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We turn our research into your reality

We turn our research into your reality

We have led the development of cellular technology innovation from its inception, bringing advances through ongoing technology development and the establishment of 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G. Many of the everyday cell phone activities we take for granted have been realized through Ericsson’s groundbreaking research, from watching HD video to experiencing high speed data that enable us to play games and surf the web on the go at blistering speeds.

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Our 5G milestones

Our 5G milestones

Today the conversation turns to 5G, but this is not a new dialogue for us. Our 5G network development began early, with a robust 5G testbed created to prove its concept. We also trialed our next generation technology with the world’s leading operators, including Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, Docomo and SK Telecom, years before going to market.

This commitment has been recognized by the industry; in 2015, Ericsson won awards for the largest contribution to 5G development, and in 2016, for the greatest contribution to 5G standardization.

View our 5G milestones infographic

The industry’s largest patent portfolio

We believe in the importance of patents, and our numbers show it: around 15 percent of Ericsson’s annual global revenue is invested in research and development (R&D), totaling tens of billions of dollars over the past few years. This equates to thousands of years of engineering time each year, by some of the brightest engineers in the world.

Our leading R&D efforts have created one of the largest portfolios in the industry, with over 49,000 granted patents. This generates a return on our investment that enables us to continue our ongoing research in technology innovation.

Our research areas

Investment in new ideas and technology innovation often comes a decade before bringing it to market. This can be a risk due to dramatic shifts happening in markets over time but it also means that products and services are tried and tested before reaching the consumer.

We carry out research in a broad range of areas, including: radio access technologies; IP and transport; wireless access networks; Cloud technologies; services, media and network features; security, management and operation of complex systems; and sustainability.

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The Ericsson blog

Research, Insights and Technology Reflections

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Ericsson has been a key driver of 5G development and deployment, working closely with collaborators to recognize and confront opportunities and challenges.

Inventor of the Year

Our annual award scheme recognizes the outstanding contributions of employees and their pioneering ideas.


Ericsson has a rich history of innovation, and the company is leading the way as we advance towards the networked society. We believe digital transformation is the foundation for a better world.