Ericsson looks across the Atlantic for new 5G R&D

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Ericsson is opening a new software development centre focusing on baseband technologies in the United States this year as part of fresh investment in the country.

The Swedish vendor said the investment, which is for an undisclosed sum, would help meet growing demand for 5G across North America, where it hopes to produce the first radios by the end of this year.

It added that it would benefit from carrying out R&D closer to its customers in the United States, its largest market, as well as reduce the timeline for inttroducing new products and services.

The software development centre will employ more than 200 engineers and strengthen links between core network and radio units by introducing new technology.

It will also build new software and products to Ericsson's 5G portfolio, which will be available for customers worldwide from next year.

The vendor will also employ 100 AI and automation specialists to help build new services and develop fresh and disruptive business opportunities.

[Read more: Ericsson goes small in latest 5G demo]

Finally, Ericsson will hire a dedicated team to build specific products for the United States who will carry out product engineering, testing and supply operators with early prototypes.

It follows the opening of a design centre in Austin, Texas that is focusing on the core microelectronics of 5G radio base stations, which it said would help commercialise 5G. The 15,000 square feet centre will ultimately employ 80 people.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, said: “The United States is our largest market, accounting for a quarter of Ericsson’s business over the last seven years. To serve the demand of these fast-moving service providers, we are strengthening our investment in the US to be even closer to our customers and meet their accelerated 5G deployment plans.”

Last week Ericsson started work on trials with Audi to see how 5G could help the production of cars in factories. It is also working separately with Dutch operator KPN on connected car testing.