Ericsson has signed agreements for credit facilities with the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) for US $220 million – set to mature in 2023 – and AB Svensk Exportkredit (SEK) for US $150 million – maturing in 2025. From the total of US $370 million of these new funds, US $98 million will replace credit with NIB that was set to mature in 2019.
In addition to strengthening Ericsson’s balance sheet and financial flexibility, these new funds will support R&D activities to further develop 5G and other mobile innovations. The development comes at a time when mobile networks are evolving to deliver superior mobile broadband and communication services with increased data rates, improved coverage, availability and quality that will open-up for new services and business opportunities.
Commenting on the deal, Erik Ekudden, Ericsson CTO, said: “As part of our focused strategy, we are increasing our investments to secure technology leadership in 5G, IoT and digital services. Already now we have 38 operators engaged with us on developing and preparing for 5G networks. This is more than any other company. In the coming years, we will see 5G networks going live around the world, with major deployments from 2020 and we believe that there will be one billion 5G subscriptions by the end of 2023. The technologies that we are investing in are fundamentally changing the way we innovate, collaborate, produce, live and do business.”
Key for success in the telecom industry is the delivery of future-proof, high-quality networks and solutions. To build on its technology leadership, Ericsson invested SEK 31.6 billion (US $3.8 billion) in R&D in 2016. Ericsson is the key contributor in the development of open telecom standards, with some 42,000 patents held by end of 2016.