Communications technology firm Ericsson is to create 100 new software engineering jobs at its R&D operation in Athlone to focus on emerging technologies, including intelligent network management and IPTV and smartphone apps.
In a move that will result in a significant upgrade to the existing facility in Athlone, the new workforce will play a pivotal role in Ericsson’s strategy to be a leader in the mobile broadband space, especially 4G networks, such as LTE.
“Today’s announcement that a world-leading communications company is strengthening its R&D activities in Ireland is a great vote of confidence in our policies,” said Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD.
“I am currently developing plans to further enhance our support for multinational R&D investments, and to ensure that Irish firms can learn from the vast experience in this area to create the companies of the future here.”
Intelligent network management
Ericsson’s managing director in Ireland, Michael Gallagher, said the new jobs were escalated by a drive to improve the quality and diversity of mobile broadband services, such as IP-TV and smartphone applications.
“We are growing our skill base in the intelligent network management area to enable our customers to provide a better end-user experience. Our aim is to sustain our leading position in mobile broadband by also providing leading-edge network management solutions.”
Recognising the support Ericsson has received from the IDA, Gallagher added: “Supported by the IDA, we have a mandate which will create new employment and will help the sustainability of local operations.”
IDA Ireland CEO Barry O’Leary said Ericsson plays a huge role in the economic life of the Midlands and already employs a substantial number of people in Athlone.
“The addition of 100 highly skilled jobs to the Midlands gateway is very welcome news by a leading technology company, such as Ericsson ,and this emphasises the quality of the skilled workforce available and the pro-business environment here”.
Bruton added: "If we are to get the economy growing and create the jobs of the future here in Ireland, we must ensure that we are providing all possible support to R&D projects by both Irish and multinational companies here. In last month’s Jobs Initiative, we announced a simple, technical, revenue-neutral change to the R&D tax credit which makes it much cheaper and more attractive for multinationals to locate R&D facilities in Ireland and to employ researchers here.”
Leading the way in global best practices in R&D and product development, Ericsson is ensuring the working environment facilitates this and is also undertaking a major upgrade of the facilities in Athlone.