Ericsson bids for US border control deal

Ericsson, the world's biggest supplier of mobile telecommunication systems, is to bid for a contract to set up a 2.7 billion dollar surveillance system on the US-Mexico border, according to a news report on Saturday.

Dagens Industri said Ericsson would head up a consortium of mainly US companies to bid for the system, which has caused controversy in the United States.

Other members of the consortium include Computer Science Corporation, L3 and Flour, the report said.

It will be in competition with such major US players as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Boeing.

“It is a very advanced system which requires communication, mobility and the transmission of information,” Ericsson’s project manager Eldar Hauge was quoted as saying.

He said that if the consortium won the contract the Swedish firm would be concerned with integrating the system and the transmission of information to frontier patrols.

The US Senate has approved a planned 600-kilometer hi-tech border barrier to stop illegal migrants crossing from Mexico, and President George W. Bush plans to send 6,000 troops to patrol the line.

The Mexican government is protesting against the plan.