Ericsson wins Malaysian 3G contract

(AFP) Malaysian mobile phone operator Maxis communications has awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to Swedish telecommunication giant Ericsson for deployment of its high-speed third-generation (3G) network infrastructure.

“I cannot disclose the value of the contract but it is worth millions of ringgit (dollars),” Maxis chief operating officer Edward Ying told a news conference.

Under the contract, Ericsson will operate the 3G network for 18 months before transferring it to Maxis, he said. The Malaysian company is scheduled to introduce 3G services in the second half of the year.

Ying said Maxis did not expect a large number of subscribers in the first year of operations but it would consider subsidising expensive 3G handsets to encourage business.

“When we launch 3G services, if the phone remains expensive, we might subsidise it,” he said.

Maxis and state-owned Telekom Malaysia were awarded 3G licences in 2002. The two companies have said they expected to spend 7.5 billion ringgit (1.97 billion dollars) over the next decade to roll out 3G services from later this year.

Local reports said the government may open up a second round of bidding for two remaining 3G mobile phone licenses. Malaysia’s smallest mobile operator Bhd. has already revived its bid to secure a 3G license.

Malaysia’s mobile phone penetration rate has reached more than 30 percent and the government hopes to speed up adoption rates and reach an official target of 38 percent by 2005 with new 3G networks.

The new technology allows speedy mobile access to data and video through the Internet.


Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson said Monday that it was suspending all of its Russian operations over the war in Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

The telecom giant already announced in late February that it would stop all deliveries to Russia following Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“In the light of recent events and of European Union sanctions, the company will now suspend its affected business with customers in Russia indefinitely,” Ericsson said in a statement.

The company added that it was “engaging with customers and partners regarding the indefinite suspension of the affected business.”

“The priority is to focus on the safety and well-being of Ericsson employees in Russia and they will be placed on paid leave,” it said.

READ ALSO: How has Sweden responded to Putin’s war in Ukraine so far?

Hundreds of Western firms ranging from Ikea to Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and McDonald’s have stopped operations in the country since the invasion, with French banking group Societe Generale announcing Monday it was selling its stake in Russia’s Rosbank.

Ericsson has around 600 employees in Russia, and is a “major supplier to the largest operator MTS and the fourth largest operator Tele2,” a company spokeswoman told AFP, adding that together with Ukraine, Russia accounts for less than two percent of revenue.

As a result, the equipment maker said it would record a provision for 900 million Swedish kronor ($95 million, 87 million euros) for the first quarter of 2022 for “impairment of assets and other exceptional costs,” though no staff redundancy costs were included.
Ericsson is due to publish its first quarter earnings on April 14.