- A EUR 250 million loan will support research, development and innovation for the creation of the next standard in mobile telephony.
- 5G technology set to be safer, faster and more energy efficient than current 4G standard.
- Project supported by EU bank with Juncker Plan guarantee
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 250 million loan agreement with the Swedish telecom company Ericsson (Telefonaktiebolaget L. M. Ericsson). The project concerns research, development and innovation (RDI) investments for the fifth generation of mobile telecommunications systems (5G). The loan was made possible by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, which was launched by the EIB Group and the European Commission to boost the competitiveness of the European economy.
Ericsson’s RDI initiative will include the development of hardware and software for the Radio Access Network (RAN), which connects mobile devices to the core network, the core network itself, advanced analytics and data exposure functions to enable autonomous networks and a technological ecosystem in 5G. Most of the RDI activities will take place in Sweden, with minor parts also being carried out in Ireland, Spain, Poland and other EU countries. Starting this year, the project is planned to be completed by 2020.
Alexander Stubb, Vice-President of the EIB, commented: “The development of 5G technology is easily one of the most important innovation initiatives for the telecom industry in the coming years. Ericsson has been one of the defining contributors to what mobile telephony is today and I think we can only be proud to support this. Apart from supporting European technology, this project will also make sure that thousands of highly-skilled jobs will stay in the EU.”
Jyrki Katainen, European Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "When it comes to developing 5G technology, we need to up our game in Europe. I am proud that Ericsson - a European company – is investing heavily in preparing for 5G with the EU's financial backing. Being a leader in telecoms is crucial to maintain our competitiveness on a global stage so sufficient investment in 5G is strategically important for Europe.”
Carl Mellander, Ericsson Chief Finance Officer, said: “We are very pleased to announce the new funding from the European Investment Bank. It will support our research and development activities for 5G and extend our debt maturity profile.”