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Ericsson plans major Indian investments

Swedish telecoms equipment giant Ericsson announced plans on Thursday to invest $500 million over the next five years in India – and possibly more – to exploit "phenomenal" growth in the sector.

“We will be investing 100 million dollars annually for the next five years,” Mats Granryd, managing director of Ericsson India, told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in the Indian capital.

“The figure could go up depending upon the growth in the sector,” he said.

GSM cellular mobile telephony in India grew by 100 percent last year, Granryd added.

“This is growing phenomenally and I do not see an end to it,” he said.

Ericsson’s global chief executive office Carl-Henric Svanberg, in India to attend a business leaders’ forum added that the the country’s telecommunications market “has grown by more than double in the last five years and we have a lot of activity here.”

India now has more than 183 million telephone subscribers, of which over 140 million are mobile customers, according to official figures.

Teledensity rose to 16 – the number of telephones per 100 people – in November 2006, the latest month for which figures were available, from 11 in the same month in 2005, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

India added 6.8 million new mobile subscribers in November.

“India’s mobile subscriber base is increasing phenomenally every year – one customer is added every second,” Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran said last month.

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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