The crisis may have clouded the economic horizon, but business continues for Ericsson and its French branch. “We have the muscles to pass this delicate period”, said Friday Franck Bouétard, CEO of Ericsson France, interviewed by France. After having placed 90% of its workforce – which has 1,000 employees – in telework, the French branch of the Swedish equipment supplier reopened its offices in Massy-Palaiseau, Boulogne-Billancourt and Lannion earlier this week and now welcomes its on-site teams on a voluntary basis.
“We were able to cope with this situation of confinement by adapting to local realities and to measures decided at national level by the authorities of the countries in which we operate,” said the boss of the French branch of Ericsson. Recall that the latest results from the equipment manufacturer illustrate the stability of the group, whose adjusted quarterly operating profits for the first quarter increased by 30% to reach 422 million euros, while its gross margin rose to 44, 6%, against 43.2% a year earlier.
The equipment manufacturer, which will provide part of the Orange 5G network in the coming years, is today engaged in a real race against the clock as the world is gradually equipped with 5G networks. On 70 networks in working order, the Scandinavian group can now boast of equipping 32.
Europe lagging behind?
A nice feat which owes especially to the Asian and North American countries, as the leader notes. “Our Asian and American neighbors have well understood the strategic interest of equipping themselves with new generation mobile networks, which will prove to be of critical importance for ensuring the future of their connectivity”, he observes, regretting ” a lack of voluntarism on the subject of European countries ”.
“While Asian and North American countries have accelerated in recent weeks and months to strengthen their mobile networks, this is not the case for Europe, which is on the contrary slowing down on the subject” , he regrets. For Ericsson, who advocates like operators to resume the 5G frequency allocation procedure as soon as possible, we must take advantage of deconfinement to put the question of 5G at the heart of political priorities.
“This is not an economic debate but a real political issue,” said the leader, while the call for tenders organized in France under the aegis of Arcep will take place from July at the earliest, that is, several months late on the initial schedule. “As the period we have just experienced has clearly shown, 5G will quickly become essential due to the growing increase in demand for connectivity … At this rate, 4G will not be enough”, a- he argues, calling on the European authorities to take up the issue head on, so as not to be left behind in this 5G race which still promises to be long.