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Ericsson lands Bangladesh network deal

Bangladesh's leading mobile phone company said on Tuesday it has awarded a 150 million dollar contract to Swedish equipment maker Ericsson to expand its network and services in the South Asian country.

Under the two-year deal, Ericsson would supply radio equipment and a comprehensive range of new services to GrameenPhone, the largest mobile phone operator in the country, a company statement said.

The network expansion and upgrade will enable GrameenPhone, a subsidiary of Norwegian telecom company Telenor, to “significantly enhance network quality, performance and coverage,” it said.

“This is the year of quality for GrameenPhone and we have aggressive network expansion plans to continue providing the best quality network in the country,” said the chief executive officer of GrameenPhone, Erik Aas.

Ericsson, the world’s largest supplier of mobile telecommunication systems, will remain the sole supplier to the GrameenPhone GSM network for the duration of the contract, it said.

Ericsson last month announced that it had established a full-fledged company in Bangladesh in a bid to tap into the fast growing telecom market.

Bangladesh has been witnessing explosive growth in mobile telephony in the last couple of years with the number of subscribers leaping from 3.6 million in early 2005 to over nine million by the end of the year.

GrameenPhone, which last year hooked one million subscribers in a period of just 40 days, boasts over 60 percent of the country’s more than 10 million subscribers.

SWEDEN AND UKRAINE

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.

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