Why Does the World Need Ericsson?

by Börje Ekholm, President & CEO of Ericsson
Sep 30, 2021 7:35 AM ET
Blog

We are living through a period of enormous change - one that is upending established ways of thinking and working. This presents many challenges, but also vast new possibilities. And when we look to the future, we see a need like never before for businesses that are driven by a sense of their purpose – the reason they exist in the world. Therefore, we want Ericsson’s role in creating a more sustainable and connected future to drive everything we do today, and by imagining the possibilities of limitless connectivity for people, business and society.

Over the last year and a half the world has fought to come to terms with the impact of Covid. Watching the heroic actions of the world’s carers, as the lives of hundreds of millions have been turned upside down, I’ve had cause to question my own purpose: What do I do that makes a difference? What is my purpose?

At Ericsson, we have always had a purpose, and that goes back more than 140 years. In 1876 our company was founded on a simple premise that communication is a basic human need and our purpose, then and today, was to fulfill that need. 

But Ericsson’s spirit of innovation is more than just the kit. We have helped to connect billions of people – a genuine modern mobile miracle. Connectivity has created countless social and economic opportunities, helping bring whole populations to a better quality of life. While our history is impressive, we are in no position to be complacent. Today, we face a complex array of new challenges with socio-economic, political, and technological ramifications that bring about a lot uncertainty, as well as new opportunity.

This in turn has led me to ask a most fundamental question of ourselves: Why does the world need Ericsson?

What if limitless connectivity meant limitless possibility?

Explore our vision for making the unimaginable possible

Listen to the podcast

This is not as simple a question to answer as you might first think. What role do we want to play in the world? And how does our work benefits others? These questions shape our company and have led to a rethink of the purpose and vision we will follow in the decades ahead.

A sense of purpose

Our Purpose is: To create connections that make the unimaginable possible

Our renewed purpose - ‘creating connections that make the unimaginable possible’ - recognizes the core of what we do at Ericsson: We build the network infrastructure that connect billions of people and soon will be able to connect nearly everything.

These networks are also a platform for innovation and 5G is bringing to life possibilities never considered before.

But we must also remember that how we conduct our business is important too.

I place a great focus on ensuring we do the right thing and our team is equipped with the proper tools and resources to do that - always. Our values of Respect, Professionalism, Perseverance, and Integrity are the fabric of how we show up as Ericsson and these values, coupled with our purpose, create an exciting opportunity for our business, but also a great responsibility to live up to.

The world we believe is possible

We have thought long and hard about the world we believe it is possible to create – a place where technological innovation is an exciting and overwhelmingly positive force for people, business, and the planet.

Our Vision is: A world where limitless connectivity improves lives, redefines business and pioneers a sustainable future

‘Improving lives’ is a key part of this. It speaks to a future that could offer democratized access to healthcare and wearables that avoid illness. A future that presents completely new ways of learning, with connectivity for all schools and experiential learning in virtual worlds.

We envision a future where quality education isn’t dependent on physical proximity to school and where every child and adult has equal access to a quality education.

We are already taking our first steps to making this future a reality.

In 2019, we signed a multi-year global partnership with UNICEF to support its Giga initiative to map school connectivity globally by the end of 2023. The insights we gain from these efforts will give UNICEF, governments and other groups the information they need to connect every school by 2030.

Over the next decade we also expect mobile networks to be a revolutionizing force for industry. We envision that limitless connectivity will redefine business and empower enterprises to become entirely agile. With fully connected and constantly optimizing value chains, enterprises will work smarter and cleaner with production closer to the consumer – collapsing cost and emissions related to logistics and shipping.

With mixed reality and the internet of senses, we could experience sporting moments from our sofas, just as if we’re in the crowd – the sound, feel and smell of being part of the excitement. It could transform how we experience the thrill of any sporting event – or any event at all.

Finally, our vision is about creating a more sustainable future for the climate. We know that the climate crisis is the greatest challenge humanity is facing at the moment and how we respond now will define the course of our future.

Our studies show that wireless solutions can contribute to reducing global emissions by 15 percent, across a wide variety of industries. Our vision is to ensure that limitless connectivity delivers on its full potential to help resolve this crisis.

This work starts with us, which is why by 2030 Ericsson will become carbon neutral in its own operations and why we are already developing technology to break and continue to diminish the energy curve in telecom networks for our customers. 

Our role in the future

I have always believed you shape your own future.

This is an important lesson I learned from my own father. He grew up in the very northern part of Sweden, as the oldest of 10 siblings, and when he was 18 both his parents died, leaving him to take care of the family on his own. He looked towards the future and built a successful life for himself. His story of resilience shows that while you can’t do anything about the past, the future is entirely in your hands.

The future that Ericsson envisions is ambitious, but it isn’t something we are going to do alone. It is going to require a concerted effort between partners across and beyond the ICT ecosystem.

We will create the network that the future needs – an intelligent platform for innovation. We will bring together partners across eco-systems to collaborate, innovate and incubate ideas. We will evolve the ways in which we can expose network functions and capabilities in order to allow innovation to scale without friction. And we will form partnerships with other vendors and critical technology players such as hyper-scalers and cloud providers to ensure we fully explore and realize the full possibilities of limitless connectivity.

The future is a place for purpose and vision.

Ours is clear, and we invite partners, customers and consumers to join us in creating connections that make the unimaginable possible. And we invite them to help us realize a world where limitless connectivity improves lives, redefines business and pioneers a sustainable future.

Learn more

Explore the world of #ImaginePossible

Read more about our purpose and vision.