Ericsson slips down research ranking

Swedish telecoms equipment company Ericsson has slipped down an international ranking comparing companies' spending on research and development.

The British Department of Trade and Industry’s list put Ericsson at 31st place, estimating its research and development spending for 2006 to be $3 billion. Three years ago, the company was in 19th place.

But Ericsson spokesman Henry Sténson said the estimate was “a touch too low,” but he said he would not give Ericsson’s official figure until the year was out.

“What they’re forgetting is that we’ve actually incorporated Marconi into our portfolio – you can add a few billion from there.”

Sténson said it was also misleading to compare telecoms companies with other sectors.

“We are number one in telecoms. That is the relevant figure. We invest more than twice as much in R&D of telecoms systems as any of our competitors.”

The list was led by Ford, which has a research budget of $8 billion. Pharmaceuticals company Pfizer was in second place.