Major innovation prize awarded to Swedish mobile pioneer

The American National Academy of Engineering will this year award the prestigious Draper Prize to Sweden´s Thomas Haug. The Prize is awarded annually to persons who has developed technologies with a major positive impact on the everyday life of people.

Examples of earlier award winners are Vinton G Cerf for the development of internet, the founder of world wide web Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, the respective developers of the GPS-system, the optofibre technology, the LCD technology as well as several developers of medical technology and many more.

Thomas Haug (Dr Sc.Eng.), is 85 years old, he was born in Norway and is a Swedish citizen. Haug was one of the founders of NMT, the mother of it all for following global mobile technologies such as GSM, 3G and most recently 4G. Thomas Haug worked at the Swedish telecommunications incumbent TeliaSonera between 1966-1992. Haug worked very closely with another mobile pioneer the late Östen Mäkitalo. Following the launch of NMT, Haug became Chairman in the joint Euopean standardisation group for GSM. Haug has also been employeed by Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Baltimore developing military radio units as well as Ericsson.

“Considering Sweden´s world premiere launches of the mobile networks NMT, the mother of it all, and later on 4G, it is very pleasing the prestigious Draper Prize will be awarded a Swede the very first time the development of mobile technology is recognized”, says professor Bertil Thorngren, formerly Head of the Center for Information and Communications Research at Stockholm School of Economics.

”I´m very honoured to be a prize recipient since we were several persons involved from the operator as well as manufacturer side in developing the first mobile systems which few realised the full potential of at the time. NMT was groundbreaking as the world´s first modern mobile system developed to work across borders in all the Nordic countries which was unique at the time, and is the template for today´s mobile communication enabling people to communicate and access information almost everywhere and anytime”, says Thomas Haug, Draper Prize recipient 2013.

The prize ceremony will be held on February 19 by the American National Academy of Engineering in Washington, US. The Draper Prize is awarded annually to persons who have contributed to engineering and technology. The other award winners this year are also early developers of mobile telephony. Read more on


See the interview belowwith Thomas Haug when he got the message about the award.

{Widget zone placeholder}


See also the TeliaSonera history site where you can read more about the work with NMT and GSM