Our company launched many services for the first time in Hungary. In the 1990s, we installed 1,500,000 lines of capacity in the country. In 1994, we received a commission to build the Westel 900 GSM network, and by 2002, our company was the first in the world to launch the Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) in Hungary together with Westel. We also supported the introduction of the now rapidly developing levels of domestic mobile internet in the country with the following services: General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), edge, 3G, High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), LTE (4G), LTE Advanced (4G +), and most recently in April 2020, 5G.
Ericsson Research and Development (R&D) has enabled many of the everyday activities you take for granted – such as Bluetooth, touchscreen scrolling and LTE (4G) technology – while ensuring other companies benefit from our technology innovations through fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory principles. As we pave the road to 5G, our industry-leading innovators are driving us towards our vision of the networked society every day. With this vision in mind, we strive to recognize, reward and invest in valuable contributions to the future of communications.
Here at Ericsson, we are dedicated to R&D, leading the development of cellular technology from 2G to 5G and beyond. About 15 percent of our annual global revenue is invested in R&D and we have the largest portfolio in the industry with over 54,000 granted patents.
Through our creation of cellular standards, we have pioneered the technology that we take for granted today and for advancements still to come. As we drive global standardization, our commitment to open, collaborative and innovative technology standards enable us to play a key role in shaping standards for future technologies. Giving fair access to our standard essential patents enables collaboration and standardization globally across the ecosystem, bringing interoperability, increased performance and lower barriers of entry to new players.
Ericsson Research works in close collaboration across our business areas as well as the ecosystem and is instrumental in creating the basis for our patent portfolio. After all, innovative technologies are the main purpose for our research activities. At Ericsson Research Hungary, our colleagues work on technologies (and consequently on patents) related to programmable networking, distributed and edge cloud, critical networking as well as critical cloud, and artificial intelligence. We also innovate by connecting these technology domains to other related technology areas, such as cloud robotics or augmented reality. These represent new business opportunities but also the combination of evolving technology domains is of high potential for innovative new technologies.