Ericsson had suspended operations and deliveries to customers in Russia in April as a consequence of the war with Ukraine
Swedish vendor Ericsson has already notified its 400 employees in Russia that they will be laid off as part of the company’s plan to shut down operations in the country, Ericsson CEO’s Börje Ekholm said in a conference call with investors.
“We have explained the orderly wind-down process to them and they’re now leaving our organization in a phased approach by the end of 2022,” he noted.
Ekholm also refuted a report by Swedish media that the vendor continued to export telecom gear to Russia after the war with Ukraine began.
The executive highlighted that Western governments are clear on the importance of maintaining internet access and the flow of information for the people of Russia. “As a consequence, we’ve been providing the necessary support for maintain civilian networks in compliance with current sanctions,” Ekholm said.
“The reporting by Swedish Radio is factually inaccurate. Ericsson, as previously stated, suspended operations and deliveries to customers in April and continues its orderly wind down in Russia. The Swedish and EU authorities have granted limited exemptions for Ericsson and other companies to deliver technical assistance and software which are needed to maintain civilian public telecommunication networks. These exemptions expire by year-end and Ericsson is, and will remain, fully compliant with Swedish, EU and US sanctions,” Ericsson recently said in a statement.
“As the Swedish Authority, ISP, made clear in its statement, these items are only for civilian public telecommunication networks and not for military use,” Ericsson added.
Ericsson is estimated to have a 20% share of the Russian telecom equipment market, and MTS and Tele2 are two known Russian operators with major Ericsson contracts prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Nokia, which announced its exit from Russia in April 2022, previously told Mobile World Live that this move was “right on track” and expects to shut down its Russian operations by the end of the year.
Huawei is now the only major international telecom equipment vendor with plans to continue operating in Russia. Earlier this year, Huawei decided to relocate part of its staff from Russia to central Asia amid fears of potential sanctions from the United States, according to Russian press reports.
Huawei began relocating Chinese and Russian managers and heads of divisions to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, local newspaper Vedomosti reported. According to the report, Huawei decided to relocate some of its employees amid fears of sanctions from Western countries due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine