Nasdaq is reporting Ericsson has secured a loan from Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) for $150 million. $98 million will be used to replace credit with the NIB that matures in 2021, with the remainder being used to invest in 5G R&D.
The primary players in 5G equipment are Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia. With Huawei under increasing scrutiny worldwide, and many countries choosing not to use their equipment over security concerns, Ericsson has scored a number of high profile deals. According to Nasdaq, “Ericsson has reached almost 80 commercial 5G agreements with communications service providers, of which 24 are live networks.”
The news follows an announcement a few weeks ago that Ericsson is also investing $230 million in a new 5G assembly line in Brazil.
The additional R&D investment should help the company compete even more with Huawei, giving carriers worldwide another option. Given that many carriers have expressed concern that banning Huawei will lead to billions of dollars and years more effort to roll out 5G networks, a strong second and third option can only help.