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Ericsson adds labs in Hungary, Italy

With the newest announcement of the opening of its technology incubation lab in Hungary, Ericsson Garage, just a day after it launched a cloud lab in Italy, Ericsson seems to be on its way to increased investment in the cloud. This week, it has called a meeting of top management to look at how to scale itself, by acquisition or other means.

The Hungarian facility will be located at Ericsson’s research and development centre in Budapest and will concentrate primarily on the cloud computing and virtualisation. Ericsson hopes to bring together the representatives from across various fields, including operators, academia, start-up companies and players from the other industries and local communities as well as developers and end-users, it says.

Apart from cloud and virtualisation, the new lab will also provide the space to develop the technologies in the area of 5G, data analytics, IoT, SDN as well as it will support the integration and help with demos to operators and enterprises.

In its pursuit to engage the participants from all different fields, it will hold the events aiming at providing more opportunities for the start-up community and telco operators to closely cooperate with the university on cloud and virtualisation.

In general, the idea behind the Ericsson Garage is to provide the right space to develop an idea from opportunity into a thriving commercial offering, it says. The Garage should then support and develop innovation in line with the company’s current research and business. The Garage also promotes the specific work culture, based on the bottom-up initiatives, bringing together the researchers and managers from different levels. The work may be also supported by external partners such as Entrepreneurship Labs who help shape ideas.

Ericsson’s R&D centre in Budapest currently hires around 1,200 engineers who are working on the key products. The Budapest Garage is the second that Ericsson currently operates, with the first one being located in Stockholm, and it plans to build another one in the Sillcon Valley, it says.

“I believe that the new Ericsson Garage will strengthen our foundation for creating sustainable business for Ericsson and its customers in a Networked Society. For example, we can look at one area that the Garage will showcase: cloud and virtualisation technologies at the first step. We believe this area will transform the economics of delivering new services to market” says the Head of region Western and Central Europe, Ericsson, Valter D’Avino.

“I see this new initiative as a means to take our joint activities to the next level, where the industry can utilise and build on our results. The industrial application of our research can serve as an input to our education, and to equip the new generation of engineers with this up-to-date and practical knowledge. Ericsson’s initiative excellently fits to the concept of our University-Industry Cooperation Centre, which serves to attract industrial and other players to latest technologies and related knowledge available to our university,” adds Dr Gabor Peceli, Rector of Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

Ericsson has also opened a new cloud lab in Rome, Italy, to address the telco cloud domain, it says. The new centre is dedicated for the leading telco operators and will remain an open and multi-vendor environment based on Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) and Software Defined Network (SDN) technologies.

The aim is to bring together the telecommunications operators to help them develop the new cloud infrastructure and services and provide them with a lab to run the trials. The new facility will be located at Ericsson’s Italian campus in Rome, however the operators will be able to access it virtually from all over the world.

“Cloud will enable the biggest evolution of the telecom business and this new lab is an example of Ericsson’s passion for driving innovations in Italy. As great ideas come from collaboration, operators can turn cloud-based approaches to their advantage and implement new architectures that provide network efficiency and shorter time to market for innovative services,” says Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of region Mediterranean, Ericsson.