Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson plans to invest $15-20 million in a second manufacturing facility in India as it seeks to make inroads into one of the key markets for the company, Hans Vestberg, president and chief executive officer of the world's largest telecom equipment maker, told reporters yesterday.
The second unit, to be located in Pune, will manufacture radio equipment for export to about 180 countries. According to Vestberg, the facility was expected to be ready by the middle of the next year.
The company currently operates a unit in Rajasthan.
"India is a very important market for us," Vestberg said, while detailing plans for raising the headcount in the country from the current 21,200 employees.
Vestberg added that there was a technology revolution sweeping across the world and impacting various sectors. "Strengthening our position as a leading software company as well as early leadership in the standardisation and realisation of the next generation of mobile networks, or 5G, are key factors of success."
Vestberg and his team, currently in India to participate in the company's technology event, would meet policymakers as also key customers.
Bharti Airtel had selected the company for expansion of its 3G network.
Ericcson also announced the launch of a new radio system in the Indian market, which would help mobile companies roll out fifth-generation (5G) services in future. "With the Ericsson Radio System, total cost of ownership will reduce by 20 per cent," Vestberg said.
The company said the system gave operators the infrastructure they needed to support mobile data demand, estimated to reach 25 exabytes per month globally by 2020, when 5G was expected to be commercialised.