Ericsson plans to invest in Brazil

November 27, 2019

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson plans to invest 1 billion reais ($238.30 million) in Brazil to add a new assembly line dedicated to 5th generation technology (5G) for its Latin American operations, an executive told Reuters on Monday.

The move is likely to stir competition with Finland’s Nokia and China’s Huawei Technologies Co, which also have factories in Sao Paulo state and are racing to lead 5G deployment in Brazil. “We already export 40% of all equipment assembled in Brazil to Latin American countries, and it will be no different with 5G,” said Eduardo Ricotta, President of Ericsson Latam South, in a phone interview after meeting with President Jair Bolsonaro.

The investment will be made between 2020 and 2025 and includes the cost of hiring and acquisition of machinery, among other expenses, he added.

Initially, the Swedish company will spend 200 million reais to set up the new 5G assembly line in its factory located in Sao Jose dos Campos, an industrial city near Sao Paulo, Ricotta said.

“We expect this new assembly line to be operating as of the third-quarter of 2020, but the schedule will also depend on the 5G auction,” he said.

Brazil telecoms regulator Anatel is still determining the rules for the 5G auction, which was initially scheduled for next March but later postponed as tests on interference with other services are still ongoing.

“Our business plans always take into account a little deviation, but we believe now is the right timing, as this factory will also serve other countries in Latin America,” Ricotta said, without disclosing the main destinations.

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