Ericsson took out two new loans worth a combined total of $370 million in order to continue funding its research and development efforts related to the fifth generation of mobile networks, the Swedish company said earlier this month. The majority of that sum is secured by the Nordic Investment Bank that will provide the firm with a $220 million loan maturing in 2023, whereas AB Svensk Exportkredit is giving it another $150 million maturing in 2025. Ericsson’s older debt with the NIB amounting to $98 million is covered as part of the funding agreement, with its maturity being moved from 2019 to 2023.
The Stockholm-based company said the move will make it more financially flexible and allow it to continue its significant commitments to 5G advancements without impacting its everyday operations, suggesting additional major investments may also be on the horizon. Like every other telecom giant in the world, Ericsson believes 5G will create unprecedented business opportunities and provide a technological backbone to the kind of products and services that will change developed economies moving forward, which is why it’s been relatively liberal with its investments in the sector. As part of its new funding announcement, Ericsson provided an update on its 5G collaboration efforts, with its Chief Technology Officer Erik Ekudden revealing the company is presently working with 38 wireless carriers across the globe on 5G research and deployment. The Swedish telecom firm claims no rival has such an extensive network of 5G partnerships, adding that its new funding will strengthen its leading position moving forward, ultimately allowing the company to reap the benefits of the Internet of Things segment and other industries set to benefit from 5G deployment.
The company’s recent study projected 5G subscriptions will surpass one billion by 2023 and reiterated its beliefs that the technology will revamp most aspects of people’s everyday lives, creating new monetization opportunities in the process of doing so. Ericsson’s 5G expertise will soon be put to test in the United States where the telecom giant is presently closely collaborating with Verizon on the deployment of its next-generation networking solutions that’s presently scheduled to start in 2018. The four largest mobile service providers in the U.S. are all expected to commercialize 5G networks on a national level by 2020.