Swedish kit vendor will hire 250 cloud native software developers, engineers and architects to its R&D facility in Ireland to work on 5G projects.

Ericsson intends to bring in the software developers, data scientists, architects, cloud and mobile communication engineers over the next three years. Ericsson says its Irish operation has grown 25% over the past five years and currently employs 1200 people at its Athlone Research and Development Centre, where the new staff would be based.

The new influx of tech-talent will be tasked with developing cloud-native products that ‘orchestrate, automate and power’ Ericsson’s 5G portfolio. There are no specifics on what those products might be, but perhaps Ericsson is leaving it to the new brain trust to answer that for them.

The Athlone facility is the global R&D HQ of Ericsson Digital Services OSS (Operations Support Systems) and focusses on developing the firm’s OSS and Cloud RAN portfolio. It’s one of Ireland’s largest software employers apparently and this, plus the general current political interest in all things telecoms, has perhaps prompted Robert Troy (Minister of State with responsibility for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation) to get involved in the announcement:

“I am delighted with Ericsson’s announcement to add 250 roles at its R&D Campus in Athlone. These highly skilled roles in software development, engineering and cloud technologies are a very welcome development for the region and this expansion reaffirms the Midlands as a centre of excellence in the ICT sector and cloud technology. Ericsson is a well-established presence here in Athlone and its continued success and investment in its R&D Campus is testament to the fact that Westmeath, and indeed the Midlands as a whole is a great place to do business. I want to wish the staff in Ericsson all the very best in this exciting new chapter.”

Denis Dullea, Head of Research and Development at Ericsson Athlone added: “This announcement underscores our global reputation as a world-class R&D software development centre. Our team here already play a critical role in the development of Ericsson products, services and solutions that enable Ericsson to deliver limitless connectivity that makes the unimaginable possible. We are hiring an additional 250 software developers, engineers and architects with cloud native skills to enhance our capability to deliver the benefits of cloud native technologies to our global customer base via our RAN, Management, Automation and Orchestration offerings.”

Earlier this month Ericsson created two new divisions in order to capitalise on cloud-native networking and the adoption of private mobile networks, part of a broader corporate re-shuffle that also aims to simplify the vendor’s operations. One of these new divisions, called Business Area Cloud Software and Services, is the result of a merger between Ericsson’s Digital Services and Managed Services divisions.

The goal with this wider corporate rejig is, according Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm, to: “provide solutions that will help our customers automate the increasingly complex networks for cost advantages and speed to market.” We surmised at the time that since industry-wide 5G non-standalone deployments are maturing, there is a shifting focus to 5G standalone, which is driving the adoption of cloud-native core network architecture. It seems likely this new influx of researchers could be a move to keep Ericsson up to speed with this trend.

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