NMT 900, 1987


"HotLine was something new and exciting, a concept based on freedom and the hotline between Moscow and Washington. Harry HotLine was an adventurer who traveled around the world yet always stayed in touch wherever he was, thanks to his Ericsson HotLine mobile phone. In the beginning the ads included short stories on Harry's adventures, written in the tradition of the hard-boiled detective stories."

"The fathers of the HotLine campaign were Flemming Örneholm and Nils Welinder, an advertising man from Stockholm. With their campaign, they wanted to make Ericsson's mobile phones a consumer product with a distinct identity and personality."

"The first real handheld mobile phone was the HotLine Pocket, introduced in 1987. Nils Rydbeck, head of R&D at the Ericsson Mobile Telephone Laboratory in Lund, really built it as a design project. He and his colleagues wanted to see if they could fit all the necessary components into a casing of a certain size. Made for the Nordic NMT 900 system the HotLine Pocket was based on a previous model for police radios" Nils Rydbeck on the left Flemming Örneholm marketing manager on the right.

"Initial plans called for the production of just 300 units, after all it was just an experiment. But Panasonic, which lacked its own phone for the Nordic market, discovered the HotLine Pocket and ordered 10,000 units, which were named by Panasonic. This was the first time in Panasonic's history that the company purchased a product designed and manufactured by another company."

"The HotLine campaign was successful in selling mobile phones not only in Sweden, but also in such markets as Switzerland, Spain, Thailand and Malaysia. The problem was that the name HotLine was not protected. A Stockholm company had registered the name HotLine for a completely different type of product. Ericsson was finally forced to give up the HotLine name."