Home5GEricsson cuts 3,000 jobs in Sweden, plans to recruit 1,000 in R&D

Ericsson cuts 3,000 jobs in Sweden, plans to recruit 1,000 in R&D

Telecommunications vendor Ericsson confirmed on Tuesday the company intends to cut 3,000 jobs in Sweden. It also plans to recruit 1,000 in R&D.

Ericsson intends to cut 3,000 jobs in Sweden, the company announced on Tuesday morning. The telecommunications vendors employs today approximately 16,000 people in its home country. The cuts are in line with the cost and efficiency program targeting savings of SEK 9 billion during 2017 and additional restructuring measures presented in July. “The positions we intend to reduce are in production, research and development (R&D) and sales and administration in our units across our sites in Borås, Göteborg, Karlskrona, Kumla, Linköping and Stockholm,” said an Ericsson spokesperson to Industrial IoT 5G Insights. The proposed reductions will be met through a combination of voluntary and forced reductions, and outsourcing.

As previously reported, Ericsson will reduce significantly its production in Sweden, cutting a total of 1,000 jobs in Borås and Kumla, its two remaining production facilities in the country. The goal is to consolidate production to fewer sites globally, in particular in Estonia and China. Talking at a press conference, Jan Frykhammar, president and CEO of Ericsson, said some production functions for prototyping, closely linked to 5G R&D, will remain. As for the 800 job cuts in R&D and approximately 1,200 in other operations, Ericsson would not comment on which business divisions will be affected. “We have ongoing discussion with the unions and can only give high-level information,” said the spokesperson. In addition to the 3,000 job cuts, Ericsson plans to reduce the number of consultants in Sweden by 900.

“Ericsson is going through a large transformation. We continue to have a strong focus on R&D, and since many years, most Ericsson employees work in software development and services, rather than hardware production. The measures are necessary to secure Ericsson’s long term competitiveness as well as technology and services leadership,” said Jan Frykhammar, in a statement.

Strengthening Sweden’s position in R&D

Ericsson hopes the change in operations and adjustment of competence will help the company “meet technology shifts, new customer groups and a continued increased proportion of software development”. As part of this shift, Ericsson announced it planned to recruit 1,000 people in R&D, mostly from universities, in the coming three years. Ericsson did not specify which particular new skills the company would be looking for. Sweden is today the base for Ericsson’s R&D efforts within radio technology and 5G. “We have a clear goal that our R&D in Sweden should be world leading, not least in next generation systems. In the short term we have to reduce the number of positions in R&D, primarily within administrative roles. At the same time our intention is to bring in new competence in new technologies. Therefore, we intend to recruit approximately 1,000 engineers in Sweden, primarily from universities, over the coming three years,” said Ulf Ewaldsson, chief strategy and chief technology officer, in a statement.

Ericsson expects the process to be concluded during the first quarter of 2017, while the process specifically related to operations in Borås and Kumla is expected to be concluded during the second half of 2017. Total restructuring charges for 2016 are estimated to SEK 4-5 billion.

2G and 3G development transferred to Combitech

Ericsson also announced on Monday that the transfer of parts of its 2G and 3G development from Ericsson to Combitech in Linköping and Gothenburg had been finalized, resulting in 311 Ericsson employees transferred to Combitech as per 1 October. “Ericsson remains committed to its 2G and 3G portfolio but will consolidate development of these technologies to fewer Ericsson sites, in line with its R&D strategy,” Ericsson stated.

IIoT News Recap: Implanted bionic arm on test at world’s first cyborg Olympics; ABB reorganizes to seize fourth industrial revolution opportunities; ABB partners with Microsoft on industrial cloud platform; Telstra trials V2I with Cohda Wireless

Picture: ETH/Alessandro Della Bella

Robotics: Implanted bionic arm on test at world’s first cyborg olympics

Magnus, a Swedish patient implanted with a biomechatronically integrated arm prosthesis, using control technology developed at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology, is to take part in the world’s first Cybathlon. The global competition will see 74 participants with physical disabilities compete using the latest robotic prostheses and other assistive technologies, Chalmers announced. The competition aims to drive forward the development of prostheses and assistive aids. Technology developed in Magnus’s bionic arm connects directly the artificial limb to the skeleton, nerves and muscles and also includes direct neural sensory feedback in the prosthetic arm so that he can intuitively feel with it, explained Max Ortiz Catalan, assistant professor at Chalmers University of Technology, in charge of developing the technology and leading the Swedish team competing in the Cybathlon. “From a competitive perspective Cybathlon is far from ideal to demonstrate clinically viable technology,” said Max Ortiz Catalan. “But it is a major and important event in the human-machine interface field in which we would like to showcase our technology. Unlike several of the other participants, Magnus will compete in the event using the same technology he uses in his everyday life.” The cybathlon is organized by the Swiss university ETH Zürich.

Industry 4.0: ABB reorganizes to seize fourth industrial revolution opportunities

Industrial conglomerate ABB announced a company-wide reorganization to increase the company’s focus on energy and industry 4.0. The reorganization will see the creation of four business divisions: Electrification Products, Robotics and Motion, Industrial Automation, and Power Grids. ABB also announced IoT pioneer Guido Jouret took office as chief digital officer on 1 October. Prior to joining ABB, Jouret held the roles of Chief Technical Officer at Nokia Technologies and General Manager of the Internet of Things division. “Over the last two years, ABB has become faster, leaner and more efficient. We have continuously improved margins and further strengthened our cash generation. In Stage 3 of our Next Level strategy, we are building on our successful transformation momentum and strengthening our position as a pioneering technology leader and global digital champion. With our four simplified, market-leading, entrepreneurial businesses, combined with ‘ABB Ability’, we address customers’ needs in the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions in a more focused and agile way,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer.

Cloud: ABB partners with Microsoft on industrial cloud platform

Besides a major reorganization (see above), ABB announced it has selected Microsoft Azure as the cloud for ABB’s integrated connectivity platform. “This partnership will provide unique benefits to our customers in utilities, industry, transport and infrastructure, building on the combined strength of Microsoft and ABB,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “Building on our installed base of more than 70 million connected devices and more than 70,000 digital control systems, the next step is to develop one of the world’s largest industrial cloud platforms.”

V2X: Telstra trials V2I with Cohda Wireless

As a first step in developing vehicle-to-everything (V2X), Telstra and Cohda Wireless said they successfully trialed vehicle-to-infrastructure (v2I) over Telstra’s 4G network in South Australia, IT wire reports. The trial included testing applications to send alert to drivers, prioritize certain vehicles and testing optimal green light timing. The trial is to continue and will include testing of Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Vulnerable (bicycles and pedestrians) within the coming months.

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