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Ericsson to set up facilities in Chennai, Gurgaon — Rajasthan unit to make mobile base stations, switches

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Mr Carl-Henric Svanberg (left), President & CEO, Ericsson, and Mr Mats Granryd, MD, Ericsson India Pvt Ltd, at a press conference in Mumbai on Monday. - - Paul Noronha

Mumbai , Oct. 24

GLOBAL telecommunications major Ericsson will be setting up an R&D facility in Chennai as well as a Global Services Delivery Centre (GSDC) in Gurgaon as part of its expansion plan for the country that will run into "hundreds of millions of dollars."

This plan also includes upgradation of the company's manufacturing facility in Rajasthan to make mobile base stations and switches, said Mr Carl-Henric Svanberg, CEO of Ericsson, at a news conference here today.

Ericsson has already invested around $100 million in India, he said.

The company supports the Union Ministry (telecommunication's) view that the country will have 200 million subscribers and 10 million broadband subscribers by 2007, said Mr Mats Granryd, Managing Director, Ericsson India (Pvt) Ltd.

Ericsson's R&D facility in Chennai will be involved in cutting edge technology, in areas such as service layer and value-added services. The company's association with TCS and Wipro, to which it has outsourced work, would also continue, said Mr Granryd.

Themanufacturing facility, the first in the country by any world telecom infrastructure major, will also be the first to make base station controllers and mobile switching centres domestically.

An amount of $50 million has been spent on its upgradation.

The plan is to eventually make Ericsson self-sufficient for its domestic requirements of switches and base stations. Time-to-market will reduce, as will costs, enabling the company to better compete in the market place, said Mr Granryd.

Already, the company is setting up one base station every 45 minutes in India, he said.

The GSDC has its roots in the managed capacity expansion contract for rural India that Ericsson signed with Bharti four months ago.

Mr Svenberg said that worldwide, services constitute 28 per cent of Ericsson's total revenues, and this is growing, at 30 per cent year-on-year.

A regional network operations centre will soon be up and running and could eventually service the Asia-Pacific region.

Ericsson has a workforce of 1,500 in India. Including partnerships there are around 3,500 working for the company. This is expected to significantly increase, said Mr Granryd.

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