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Ericsson to Shutter Bluetooth Group

Posted on Monday 30 August 2004

Ericsson, the inventor of Bluetooth, announced that they are closing down the group which develops and promotes the technology, all the while insisting that the company is “not pulling back from Bluetooth.” The head of the Technology Licensing Group, Johan Åkesson, said that licensing revenues from Bluetooth do not justify a separate division. “Even though large volumes are manufactured, we’ve found that the long-term business case for Ericsson Technology Licensing is not strong enough,” he said. Ericsson will create a small group to support its current customers, and will continue to develop Bluetooth software in its Mobile Platforms group. Design and development of new hardware, chips and intellectual property will stop after the group ceases operations, scheduled before the end of the year.

Given the climate at Ericsson lately this should come as little surprise. The company has been actively paring its business portfolio by shedding groups which are considered marginal contributors to the core mission or to the bottom line. Given the large number of influential chip developers now involved with Bluetooth, it will likely have little short-term effect. Ericsson’s withdrawal, however, could have long-term ramifications as new low power wireless technologies begin to mature.

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