Telecoms

Inside Ericsson's Silicon Valley Experience Centre

The entrance to the Ericsson Experience Centre in Santa Clara.
The entrance to the Ericsson Experience Centre in Santa Clara.

Nestled in an area at the forefront of ICT development, Ericsson's Experience Centre in Santa Clara, California, is a hive of activity as staff and visitors walk in and out of the building's thick glass doors.

Thomas Olsson, head of the Ericsson Silicon Valley Experience Centre, takes us through the tour.
Thomas Olsson, head of the Ericsson Silicon Valley Experience Centre, takes us through the tour.

Ericsson decided to open the centre, established in 2016, to allow visitors to interact with some of its experts and see how technology and ecosystems will drive transformation.

Ericsson currently has 42 500 patents, but one of its first was for this phone from 1885.
Ericsson currently has 42 500 patents, but one of its first was for this phone from 1885.

The centre also offers digital maturity assessment and transformation workshops for service providers.

The entrance into the centre showcases all new Ericsson solutions.
The entrance into the centre showcases all new Ericsson solutions.

Last week, the company opened its doors to a media delegation from the Middle East and Africa region to tour its facility. The tour guide was none other than the head of the Ericsson Silicon Valley Experience Centre, Thomas Olsson.

There are various workstations throughout the building where employees can work.
There are various workstations throughout the building where employees can work.

Olsson said Ericsson first came to Silicon Valley in the early 90s through its partnership with Hewlett-Packard (HP).

A miniature version to showcase Ericsson's smart parking technology solution.
A miniature version to showcase Ericsson's smart parking technology solution.

At that time, he said, Ericsson and HP thought that software would be important, but their focus was on hardware.

Olsson says 5G technology presents tremendous benefit for the industry.
Olsson says 5G technology presents tremendous benefit for the industry.

"So we created a joint venture called Ericsson HP Telecommunications and since then a number of acquisitions and partnerships have been made. We bought a number of IP companies, we also acquired media room from Microsoft four years ago, and that, together with our research arm that has been highly involved in the 5G standardisation work here in the US and globally, is sitting here."

A lounge-like area to sit and relax while exploring the centre.
A lounge-like area to sit and relax while exploring the centre.

Olsson stressed the need for the company to keep reinventing itself. "We are a company that is 148 years old, but that is not important. What is important is how old we will become, and that [depends on] bringing new values to the market."

While some may have forgotten that Ericsson used to manufacture mobile phones, the centre has examples of the different devices.
While some may have forgotten that Ericsson used to manufacture mobile phones, the centre has examples of the different devices.

There are about 500 people working in the centre and Silicon Valley is the place to be to source talent, according to Olsson. "Most of the Fortune 500 companies are here, and they are here for a reason. Ericsson believes there is value in co-creation and proof-of-concept [development] with partners and industry players."

Have your say
Facebook icon
Youtube play icon