Ericsson and Korea have crossed wires over 'green 4G' deal
Published: 14 July, 2009
READ MORE: Ericsson
The communications departments of Ericsson and the Korean government seem to have got their wires crossed, issuing very different accounts of the results of a recent summit. Both agree that, following a meeting between incoming CEO Hans Vestberg and Korean president Lee Myung-bak, the Swedish giant will join local firms in an environmental initiative aimed at green mobile communications. But while Korean authorities said Ericsson would also invest $1.5bn in a new R&D center, focused on LTE, the vendor denied such a plan.
The Korea Herald, quoting and official statement from the president's office, said that Ericsson would create a testbed for LTE technology in the country and increase its staff in Seoul from just 80 to over 1,000, with an investment of KRW2 trillion. The resources would be used for further development of LTE, presumably targeting the Korean cellcos and also new partnerships with Samsung, LG and others on the device and possibly infrastructure side (Samsung is unlikely to be a major player in LTE RANs, but could participate in network areas such as femtocells). The center would be part of a broader initiative to explore how the use of mobile broadband could enable "a green ecosystem that will result in a more sustainable society".
This phrase, at least, did come from the Ericsson statement, and the firm went on to say: "As part of this ecosystem Ericsson, together with leading Korean companies, will establish a community for the development of sustainable climate solutions based on 4G technologies." Other aspects will include machine-to-machine communications.
But the specifics of funding and job increases, and plans for an LTE testbed, may not, after all, be definite yet, and Ericsson issued a denial to various media, characterizing the meeting as something broader and higher level.
However, there will be formal collaboration on the green side and Ericsson did tell Dow Jones that it would help create a center with aims such as the reduction of CO2 emissions via
sustainable network solutions using '4G' and other modern IT solutions - which could offset emissions by over 15% by 2020. Ericsson's Korea president Bjorn Allden told the news agency that the agreement could gain a foothold in Korea's mobile market, where it has no presence, in the run-up to expected 4G license auctions in the middle of 2010. "We aim to take a significant share of the market," he said.