The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €250 million loan agreement with the Swedish telecom company 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.”
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. In 2017 alone, the Bank made available nearly EUR 2.34 billion in loans for Swedish projects in various sectors, including research and development, industry, nearly-zero-energy-buildings and telecommunications.
About the Investment Plan for Europe
The Investment Plan for Europe focuses on strengthening European investments to create jobs and growth. It does so by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB to invest in more, often riskier, projects. So far, the projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI are expected to mobilise more than €287 billion in investments and support around 635,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States. Find the latest EFSI figures by sector and by country here, or see the FAQs
Ericsson enables communications service providers to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services, and Emerging Business and is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency and find new revenue streams. Ericsson’s investments in innovation have delivered the benefits of telephony and mobile broadband to billions of people around the world. The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York. www.ericsson.com
31 May 2018