India among the biggest growth drivers for Ericsson Read more at: htt

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    KOLKATA: Sweden's Ericsson said India is among the biggest growth drivers with improved business activity as the world's largest mobile telecom gear maker posted third-quarter sales above expectations Friday.

    The company's 9 per cent on-year sales growth at SEK 57.6 billion (Rs 48,354 crore approx) in the third quarter to September, 2014 was "mainly driven by Middle East, China, India and Russia and partly offset by lower sales in (its biggest market) North America," Hans Vestberg, President & CEO of Ericsson, said in a statement.

    India sales zoomed a whopping 56 per cent year-on-year to SEK 2 billion (Rs 1678 crore approx), which is the highest growth clocked across all regions where Ericsson has operations for the second quarter in a row. India sales revenue sequentially grew by 22 per cent.

    According to Vestberg, the sharp on-year revenue spurt is also a reflection of "improving investment climate in India".

    Of the SEK 2 billion India sales revenue, SEK 1.1 billion revenue came from networks, SEK 0.7 billion from global services and 0.2 billion from support solutions in the third quarter.

    Since the end of last year, India sales "has recovered, mainly driven by an increase in operator capex spending in response to greater data uptake," the company said, adding that "on-year growth was propelled by its operations support systems (OSS), business support systems (BSS) and TV & Media" verticals.

    The OSS business comprises software applications that support a telco's back-office activities and maintain customer services while business support systems (BSS) are software apps that assist activities involving customer interface such as billing, customer relationship management to call centre automation.

    Ericsson's leadership is closely tracking India's surging appetite for data, and is looking heavily to its young population to rake in the mega bucks. The company's India region head Chris Houghton had recently said that "India, with its very young population, is at the heart of the transformation that Ericsson plans to ring in through through mobility".

    Growing data uptake also comes at a time when India's top three mobile operators, including Bharti AirtelBSE 0.35 %, Vodafone India and Idea CellularBSE 0.47 % are known to be cherry-picking lucrative data subscribers in anticipation of fierce competition for Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio Infocomm once it launches 4G services next year.

    Ericsson's optimism about India's improving investment climate is also in step with its sunny forecast on the country's mobile subscriber base, which it said is likely to swell from 800 million in 2013 to 1.2 billion subscribers by 2020. The company also expects smartphone penetration to grow from 10 per cent to 45 per cent during this period.

    The latest India sales growth numbers also come at a time when the Swedish mobile networks gearmaker is betting big on the country's Digital India initiative that aims to deliver government services to the common man primarily through mobile phone applications.

    "We believe mobile broadband will be the platform on which the Digital India vision can be delivered as it has the potential to help bring about inclusive growth in the country by extending education, healthcare and financial inclusion to rural areas and lower income groups," Houghton had recently said.

    India among the biggest growth drivers for Ericsson - The Economic Times
     
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