Ascom has always been about bringing people together. In fact, the very beginnings of the company go back to 1862, when Gustav Adolf Hasler took over the Swiss Federal Telegraph Workshop after its privatization. This had been set up a decade earlier in order to link the cities of Switzerland. The resulting company, Hasler & Escher (later Hasler AG) specialized in telegraphy, telephony, radio and measuring equipment. The company built up a notable international reputation. Even Lars Magnus Ericsson was working for Hasler & Escher in his young years.
Hasler became a major supplier of the Swiss PTT and the Swiss Army for telephones, radios, switchboards and measuring instruments. Hasler is a pioneer in electro technology and employs about 6,000 employees in the sixties.
Hasler thrived, and in 1980 acquired the Swedish company Tateco. Founded in 1955 as Telekontroll, Tateco had become known for its ‘teleCONTAL’ operational monitoring and ‘teleCOURIER’ paging systems.
In 1987 Hasler merged with Swiss telecom companies Autophon and Zellweger to form Ascom. The new entity was active in everything from hearing aids to fare collection, and relied on the Swiss market for about 80% of its revenue.
The 1990s saw Ascom shift its focus to wireless mission-critical communication. A major milestone was the 1996 acquisition of Ericsson Paging Systems. This added a major Dutch Healthcare communications company, NIRA, to Ascom. The company could now move decisively to become a truly global partner, able to offer DECT-based communications solutions to customers worldwide.
In 2011 Ascom acquired Miratel, the market leader in Finland for nurse call systems. The move strengthened the position of Ascom Wireless Solutions within the Healthcare communication market. One year later, Ascom acquired GE's North American nurse call business. The emphasis on Healthcare was again underlined by the 2015 launch of the Ascom Myco, a smartphone purpose-built for use by nurses and other Healthcare professionals.
A major strategic development came with the January 2015 announcement that the Ascom Group was committed to becoming a major ICT company with a strong focus on Healthcare. In December 2015, Ascom announced the acquisition of United Medical Software (UMS), a specialist in medical device software and integrations solutions for digital medical records and life-critical care. In 2016, the Board took the portfolio decision to convert Ascom from a divisional set-up to an integrated organization with a strategic business focus on Healthcare ICT and mobile workflow solutions.
Gustav Adolf Hasler takes over the Swiss Federal Telegraph Workshops to form Hasler & Escher, later to become Hasler AG.
Autophon, later to form part of Ascom, is established in Solothurn, Switzerland. Autophon develops to a leading supplier of telephones and PBX’s.
Sven Eriksson becomes owner of Telekontroll. The company is relocated to Gothenburg, Sweden in 1962. In 1977 the company’s name is changed to Tateco, and in 1980 is acquired by Hasler AG.
The three Swiss companies Hasler, Autophon and Zellweger merge to form Ascom. Ascom belongs to among the largest telecommunication companies in Europe. However, due to the liberalization and globalization of the telecom market, Ascom is forced to focus its business. Ascom concentrates after 2003 mainly on Wireless Solutions and Security Solutions. After the acquisition of TEMS in 2009, a third division “Network Testing” was formed.
Ascom acquires Ericsson Paging Systems. As part of the deal, Ascom becomes owner of NIRA, a Healthcare communications company based in the Netherlands.
Ascom takes a position in the huge, but highly competitive North American market by acquiring Ericsson’s Personal Wireless Telephony business.
Ascom acquires Finnish nurse call specialist Miratel in 2011 and GE’s nurse call business in North America in 2012.
The company launches the Ascom Myco smartphone, an Android device purpose-built for Healthcare users.
The Ascom Group announces its ‘Ascom 2020’ strategy, which lays out plans for the company to become a global ICT business with a focus on the Healthcare sector.
Learn more about UMS and the Ascom Digistat offering
The Board took the portfolio decision to convert Ascom from a divisional set-up to an integrated organization with a strategic business focus on Healthcare ICT and mobile workflow solutions.