Ericsson to create 100 Athlone jobs


Swedish technology and telecoms firm Ericsson is to create 100 software engineering jobs at its facility in Athlone, Co Westmeath.

The jobs have been added to Ericsson’s presence in the town in order to boost the company’s research and development activities.

Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Richard Bruton described Ericsson’s strengthening of its RD activities in Ireland as “a great vote of confidence” in Government policies and signalled that new incentives were on the way.

“I am currently developing plans to further enhance our support for multinational RD investments, and to ensure that Irish firms can learn from the vast experience in this area to create the companies of the future here,” the Minister said.

The jobs initiative announced by the Government last month included a technical, revenue-neutral change to the RD tax credit that makes it cheaper and more attractive for multinationals to employ researchers in Ireland, Mr Bruton added.

Ericsson’s managing director in Ireland Michael Gallagher said the company was aiming to sustain its position in mobile broadband, citing the industry push to improve the quality and diversity of mobile broadband services such as IP-TV and smartphone applications.

“Supported by the IDA, we have a mandate that will create new employment and will help the sustainability of local operations,” Mr Gallagher said.

Ericsson employs more than 1,400 people at its Athlone site, though numbers have reduced in recent years. Some 300 R&D jobs were also lost at Ericsson’s Dublin site in 2009.

IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O’Leary said Ericsson played “a huge role in the economic life of the Midlands” and that the addition of 100 high-skill jobs to the area was “very welcome news” that emphasised the quality of the skilled workforce available and Ireland’s pro-business environment.

The new jobs will result in an upgrade to Ericsson’s premises in Athlone, the company said.

Ericsson is the world’s biggest provider of technology and services to telecom operators and the networks it supports have more than two billion subscribers. It also has a joint venture with Sony on mobile handsets.

The company, that was founded in 1876 and has its headquarters in Stockholm, employs more than 90,000 people and had revenues of more than $28 billion last year.