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[November 27, 2012]
SWEDEN SUPPORTS IRANIAN TELECOM
(Pakistan & Gulf Economist Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Despite Western sanctions the Swedish firm Ericsson is working with Iran's largest mobile telecom operator to expand its network and has promised to support another Iranian mobile carrier until 2021, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
Ericsson is the world's largest mobile network equipment maker. Fredrik Hallstan, a spokesman for Ericsson, confirmed the company is currently working on a new expansion project for Mobile Communication Co of Iran (MCCI). Hallstan said the venture, which the carrier calls Phase V, is covered under a contract Ericsson signed in 2008. "We have not extended any agreements ... with MCCI and we have no plans to do so either," he said.
Finnish-German venture Nokia Siemens Networks, which had worked previously with MCCI, is not participating in the expansion project, the company said. A spokesman for China's ZTE Corp, another telecom equipment maker that does business in Iran, said: "As far as I know, ZTE is not involved in the MCCI network expansion project." A spokesman for Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the Chinese telecom supplier, did not confirm or deny that his company is involved. In a statement, he said Huawei is "limiting our business activities with existing (Iranian) customers." But he added: "For communications networks that have been delivered or are under delivery to customers, Huawei will continue to provide necessary services to ensure communications for Iran's citizens." Hallstan said Ericsson's promise to continue supporting a second Iranian mobile operator, MTN Irancell, for many years falls under a 2006 contract. MTN Irancell isIran's second largest mobile carrier.
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