A Nordic history
There are numerous studies that describe the development of telecommunications in one way or another but none, as far as we know, has adopted our approach. What happened as competitors battled for dominance? How did the winners win?
We have adopted the journalistic approach to the topic, largely by interviewing the people involved.
One aspect that especially interested us was the fact that the Nordic countries had higher subscriber uptake than other countries while telecommunications were still in their infancy – and that this was repeated when mobile telephony began to evolve a century later.
Why did the Nordic telecommunications agencies create the platform for modern mobile telephony? Why were Ericsson and Nokia the companies that became the world leaders? We believe that the answer lies fundamentally in the values that the Nordic cultures share. Who, in the end, were the telephone networks built for?
What measures were taken to ensure that they worked as well as possible?
Our account is in many ways the victors’ story. We look forward to other versions that can supplement the claims we make and perhaps argue against them. This is what we invite people to do on www.ericssonhistory.com.
Our work has been financed by Ericsson, but this is not a history of Ericsson. The only instruction we were given was to provide an account that describes the development of telecommunications and the role Ericsson has played in it, preferably in a way that will interest both those working for the company and those outside it.
We are responsible for all the claims made in this book and they do not express any opinions that can be ascribed to Ericsson.
And some practical tips for the reader.
It is always people – individually or in groups – who make things happen. We have used a traditional narrative device in highlighting a few selected individuals in this account. This means that there is a risk that the attention paid to them may make them stand out as heroes in comparison with their fellow workers who helped them to achieve what they did.
The legally correct name for the Ericsson company has varied over the years. On the whole we have used L.M. Ericsson, LME or Ericsson, but there may be some inconsistency.
Our warm thanks go to Ericsson for placing its confidence in us and to the hundreds of individuals who have helped us in this work.
Svenolof Karlsson & Anders Lugn
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