Ericsson was established in Malaysia in 1964. A year later a contract was signed with Telekom Malaysia for the delivery of a crossbar switch. In 1970 a factory was built in Shah Alam for making cables and AXE telephone exchanges. Within the framework of the expansion plan current during the 1990s, Ericsson invested in yet another manufacturing facility in Shah Alam. In early 2000, the facility exported daily two, fully loaded Airbus freight planes corresponding to around ten percent of Ericsson’s world-wide market.  

In 1980 the first AXE telephone exchange in Southeast Asia went on line in Pelangi, Johor province, and in 1984 Telekom Malaysia was provided with the country’s first mobile telephone network named ATUR. In 1984 mobile telephones were introduced in Malaysia and the same year a manufacturing facility was inaugurated in Kota Bharu.
During 1997 Malaysia’s first factory for making mobile telephones was opened and named Ericsson Mobile Communications Sdn Bhd. The factory had the capacity for supplying Oceania with mobile telephones and during the first three years more than four million were made. In addition the Ericsson Hewlett-Packard Telecommunication (EHPT) Sdn Bhd was formed. The next year saw the formation of Ericsson Business Support Centre Sdn Bhd and Ericsson Business Consulting Sdn Bhd.

At the turn of the millennium, four Ericsson companies have been granted Mobile Switching Center (MSC) status, namely Ericsson Business Consulting Sdn Bhd, Ericsson Business Support Centre Sdn Bhd, EHPT Sdn Bhd and Ericsson Academy (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. This meant that they could function as regional centres and supply Oceania with products and service. These centres played a large role in Malaysia’s technological change-over.

Ericsson has played an active role in Malaysia’s history, as the company has been part of the development of the country’s telecom industry. In 2000, Ericsson was the largest supplier of fixed and mobile networks in Malaysia.

Author: Centre for Business History

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1 comment
  • MSC Second last paragraph

    by Roland Fisk

    MSC in telecom world is correctly Mobile Switching Centre BUT in this case the MSC status in Malaysia means Multimedia Super Corridor status

    There are as I can several other "mistakes" or faults in the article...for example...Ericsson was NOT established in 1964..... Ericsson was represented by Swedish Trading in Malaysia since 1959 but Ericsson used Swedish Trading office from 1965?? when they started to have permanent staff in Malysia.
    Ericsson in Malaysia was officialy only registred as a permanent company in 1967 called Ericsson Talipon Sdn Bhd

    PS Worked for Ericsson in Malaysia 1971-75 + 1995-2001

    DS Another one.... The factory in Shah Alam did not make AXE echanges in 1970!!!! (Not even invented this early) It was crossbar exchanges
    No doubt AXE exchange equipment was produced by mid 1980es