Ericsson Creates Separate Bluetooth Business

L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. on Wednesday announced the creation of a separate company for licensing its Bluetooth technology. The new company, for which a name has yet to be announced, has already started operations, Mads Madsen, a spokesperson for Ericsson in Sweden said. The company is currently based in Lund, Sweden, where Ericsson has its main Bluetooth R&D (research and development) facilities.

Bluetooth, a technology for wirelessly connecting devices, is part of Ericsson's consumer division, which is being restructured because of slumping sales. The licensing company is also part of the consumer division, Madsen said.

"The new company is an expansion of our existing business," said Madsen. "We expect it to be a profitable business." He declined to give any figures.

The new Bluetooth company will license the technology for various products ranging from hardware to software. The company will also license Bluetooth knowledge, training and support, Ericsson said in a statement released Wednesday.

Customers will be chip- and module manufacturers as well as large OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) specializing in mobile consumer devices, Ericsson said in the statement .

Ericsson won't license the Bluetooth standard as such, because it is an open standard. "Think of technology that builds on Bluetooth, like components for consumer products and software stacks," Madsen explained.

An example is the technology behind the Bluetooth wireless headset Ericsson sells for use with some of its mobile telephones.

The new company will have a staff of over 100, all already employed by Ericsson. Personnel will not be affected by the separation. "Staff will still be employed by Ericsson with the same benefits," another Ericsson spokesperson said.http://www.ericsson.com

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