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70 years at the forefront of the Finnish telecommunications industry

Orbis history officeCelebrating its 70th anniversary this year, Orbis Oy has seen the most important advances and new developments in the Finnish telecommunications sector up close:

  • In the 1940s and 1950s, Orbis Oy was involved in the process of building radio and television channels, helping to connect the nation.
  • In the 1970s, the company's focus shifted to B2B electronics, which helped pave the way for Finland as a world leader in technology.
  • In the 1990s, Orbis Oy helped lift the telecommunications industry to a whole new global level.
  • Now, Orbis Oy is involved in building the foundation for a new digital society as the valued supplier to numerous telecommunications professionals.

First steps in radio technology imports

Orbiskooppi 1989 Leo Linna-AroLeo Linna-Aro and his friends founded Orbis Oy as an importing and agency company on 1 June 1949. During the early years, the company's main focus was on radio technology, which was in huge demand in post-war Finland. Import and sales of the new USW technology was an excellent stepping stone for the new company to improve and expand their business in the field of B2B electronics.

A competitive edge through in-house production

Orbis history 1993 productionIn 1993, Leo Linna-Aro resigned as CEO of Orbis Oy and passed on the torch to his son, Markku Linna-Aro. The new CEO was not the only change, however; this also marked Orbis Oy's first foray into in-house development of added-value services and test system solutions. This new direction proved to be a significant competitive edge and laid the groundwork for the success that Orbis Oy enjoys today.

Going global

Orbis history Elkom exhibition 2002In 1998, Orbis Oy took its first steps towards going global – a process that was based on the company's goal to produce customer-oriented services. The first overseas office was established in Dallas, Texas, to serve the American market. The expansion was spurred by the increased need for Finnish electronics manufacturers to outsource testing services. Orbis Oy began mass production of its own products in Estonia in 1999. In Finland, systems were being made in the company's offices in Oulu, Salo and Vantaa. At its largest, Orbis Oy also had subsidiaries in Sweden, China and India.

Division into two companies

In the early 2000s, the operations of Orbis Oy were becoming increasingly divided between two different areas: the local import and retail services in Finland, and the global manufacturing of proprietary test systems. At the beginning of 2012, the test system operations were split off into a separate company called Orbis Systems Oy, allowing Orbis Oy to return to its roots and focus on the import, assembly and retail services. In 2014, Orbis Oy founded a subsidiary company in Russia.

Building a digital future

Today, Orbis Oy's core areas are RF and optical fibre technologies. In 2018, the company's turnover was nearly EUR 10 million. Orbis Oy currently employs 50 people, half of whom work in the production of assembled cables in Estonia. The family-owned company is now managed by a third-generation Linna-Aro, after Jani Linna-Aro started as the new CEO on 1 January 2019.

The evolution of digital technology is currently changing entire industries and their revenue models. The breakthrough of 5G technology and changes in the data centre market offer Orbis Oy new areas for growth, as IT infrastructures and services need further development opening up a key role for data transfer expertise. The expertise, solutions and experience of Orbis Oy are smoothly integrated into the needs of the smart cities of tomorrow, where 5G mobile networks, data centres and internal networks within properties are part of the digital service infrastructure.

Turning points

Orbis70Established by Leo Linna-Aro, on 1 June 1949, Orbis is a privately owned company.

  • 1949 - Representation and trading
  • 1970 - Professional electronics
  • 1993 - Own production
  • 1995 - Global operations
  • 1999 - Orbis Oy Eesti filiaal is founded in Estonia
  • 2000 - Own product development
  • 2012 - Test systems spin-out to new company Orbis Systems Oy
  • 2012 - Orbis opens the webshop Worbis
  • 2014 - Orbis Solutions OOO is founded in Russia
  • 2019 - Orbis celebrates 70 year anniversary