Ericsson signs two new China deals

Telecom infrastructure Goliath Ericsson said Monday it had won contracts with China's two main mobile phone operators worth a total of $1.44 billion.

The Swedish company said it had signed deals with China Mobile and China Unicom, which together count some 550 million subscribers, to help expand their GSM coverage and capacities to the tune of $1.3 billion and $140 million respectively.

“The expansion projects will allow both operators to boost their network capacity and performance,” Ericsson said in a statement.

The deal with China Mobile aims to expand the company’s GSM and GPRS coverage in 19 Chinese regions, while the deal with China Unicom would broaden GSM networks in 10 regions, including Beijing, the statement said.

The expansion projects, which have already begun, are set to be completed this year, Ericsson said.

“The new framework agreements announced today further strengthen Ericsson’s position as the leading mobile communications supplier in the Chinese market,” company president and chief executive Carl-Henric Svanberg said in the statement.

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt, currently on an official visit to China, were present at the signing ceremony in Beijing on Monday.


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.