Ericsson has unveiled plans to construct a smart manufacturing and technology hub in Tallinn, Estonia. The greenfield investment, valued at approximately [$169 million (€155.81 million)], underscores Ericsson’s focus on sustainability and operational efficiency
According to Ericsson, the project aims to consolidate all of Ericsson’s operations in Estonia into a ‘state-of-the-art’ facility spanning 50,000 square metres. The smart hub comprises test labs, warehouses, production lines, and offices, serving as a collaborative platform for co-developing cellular ecosystems and production techniques with European customers and partners while also having a global impact on industrialisation for volume production.
By establishing this European hub, Ericsson seeks to link its established research and development (R&D) activities in Sweden and manufacturing, enabling the flow of product innovation from conception to production and vice versa.
Ericsson, through its Estonian affiliate, is taking the initial step towards its goal by acquiring a property for a smart hub. A definitive agreement will be signed, and the transaction should be completed by the fourth quarter of 2024, pending agreed-upon conditions.
The fully connected hub, located in Ulemiste City – Tallinn’s largest business park and future-oriented urban area in the Baltics – is set to become operational by early 2026. Ericsson has committed to achieving LEED Gold certification for the hub during the same year.
Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks, Ericsson, says “This move is in line with Ericsson’s long-term strategy for a more resilient and sustainable supply chain, significantly reducing our carbon footprint and harnessing the power of 5G for smart manufacturing. Our entire production landscape globally is being digitalised and, as we have done in the U.S., this will strengthen the link between our R&D and new product introduction to ensure every product we manufacture not only benefits our customers but are also produced with as low environmental impact as possible.”
Ericsson’s new European hub is expected to cut carbon emissions by up to 70% compared to all four existing facilities in Tallinn. The company is committed to achieving its 2030 net zero emissions target through sustainable and energy-efficient design choices. This includes using low embodied carbon wooden glulam beams for structural strength and minimal environmental impact, as well as installing a solar farm on the roof of the hub.
Ericsson says it is actively supporting communications service providers (CSPs) in their journey towards net zero emissions by offering the energy-efficient portfolio in the market. By upgrading existing 4G sites to 5G, CSPs can increase network capacity by over 10 times while reducing energy consumption by more than 30%.
“We are committed to being at the forefront of sustainable operations in Europe as we revolutionise our manufacturing process jointly with our partners and customers, and support the scale up of 5G deployment,” Jejdling says. “This smart hub will be powered 100% by renewable electricity and built with optimal efficiency through AI, machine learning, robotics, and other advanced Industry 4.0 technologies. In addition, we aim to attract local and European talent by creating an environment that fosters collaboration, innovation, employee wellbeing, diversity, and inclusion.”
Tiit Riisalo, Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology of Estonia, says: “Ericsson’s decision to establish a high-tech, smart manufacturing and technology hub in the forward-looking Ülemiste City, stands as a prime illustration of the economy’s next generation for Estonia. It serves as a concrete demonstration of Estonia’s commitment to the green transition, our robust ties to emerging technologies, and the creation of an ecosystem that fosters innovation for other companies as well.”