250 new highly skilled jobs are to be created in Athlone by Swedish telecoms infrastructure firm Ericsson.

The roles are to be added over the next three years at its research and development campus in the town.

The positions will include software developers, data scientists, architects, cloud and mobile communication engineers at all career stages.

The company currently employs 1,200 people in the Westmeath town, where it has had a presence since 1979, and 200 more in Dublin.

"This announcement underscores our global reputation as a world-class R&D software development centre," said Denis Dullea, Head of Research and Development at Ericsson Athlone.

"Our team here already play a critical role in the development of Ericsson products, services and solutions that enable Ericsson to deliver limitless connectivity that makes the unimaginable possible."

The company's Irish operations have grown by a quarter over the past five years as a result of earlier investment.

The Athlone campus acts as the global R&D headquarters of Ericsson Digital Services Operations Support Systems.

The focus of the new jobs will be in the area of development of new cloud-based products for 5G technology.

The IDA, which supported the investment, said it demonstrated Ericsson's continued commitment to Ireland.

"The next generation of technology developed at the Athlone facility will set the standard for the industry," said Martin Shanahan, chief executive of the IDA.

"These jobs and the associated investment will have a substantial impact on both the local and regional economy."

According to Ericsson, more than 40% of the world's mobile traffic passes through its networks, which together serve over 1 billion subscribers.

The announcement was welcomed by Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and the Minister of State with responsibility for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy.

"It truly is a vote of confidence in Athlone and Ireland as a whole that such an internationally renowned company has chosen to make this investment," said Mr Varadkar.