Ericsson takes home massive Chinese orders

Ericsson has signed two massive orders worth a combined $1.8 billion from China Mobile and China Unicom, according to a statement from the Swedish telecom company.

Ericsson said it had won a $1 billion contract with China’s top operator China Mobile to provide it with equipment to “dramatically boost the capacity of the network and evolve it into an IP network.”

The Swedish company had also agreed to provide China Unicom with a faster 3G network, and to supply IP routers, fibre access and other technologies worth $800 million.

Both contracts will be fulfilled during the course of the year.

“With a potential customer base of 1.3 billion, telecom operators are now taking steps to further expand and boost China’s communication infrastructure and related services,” Ericsson said.

In 2009, China counted 747 million mobile subscriptions, an increase of 106 million from a year earlier, Ericsson said, adding that “there is no sign of the market cooling down.”

“A steadily rising number of the Chinese population is going mobile…. Today, 99 percent of the population has mobile coverage, thanks to operators’ recent network expansion to rural areas,” Ericsson said.

“We are confident that we will do an even better job in supplying the latest technology and best-in-class services in time to support Chinese operators in fulfilling the demand of this tremendous market growth,” Mats Olsson, who heads up Ericsson’s Greater China division, said in the statement.

The contracts announced Monday follow on the heals of Ericsson’s similar equipment deals with the same operators last July worth $1.7 billion.

Following the announcement, Ericsson saw its share price jump 1.8 percent on the Stockholm stock exchange, which as a whole was up 0.5 percent.

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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.