Semantics confuse Ericsson's LTE plans in South Korea

Confusion surrounds Ericsson's recently announced investment in Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in South Korea as Ericsson and South Korea appear to be at odds over just how much Ericsson is investing.

Earlier this week, South Korean President Lee Myung-back's office issued a statement indicating Ericsson would invest $1.5 billion in the country during the next five years on LTE research and development. But Ericsson's president in Korea, Bjorn Allden, told the Financial Times it was "premature" to talk about an exact dollar amount.

Still, the presidential office, known as the Blue House, reiterated to Bloomberg that incoming Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg told officials at the Korea Communications Commission July 11 that the gear maker may invest between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in the country.

The confusion was still not cleared up when Ericsson talked to Bloomberg following the FT report. "The investment will start now and exact time and size are dependent on the progress in coming projects," Allden said in an emailed statement, according to Bloomberg. He said the company and the South Korean government were in full agreement on the investment plan. 

Ericsson plans to open a research and development center in South Korea and increase its staff in the country to some 1,000 workers, according to a July 12 Blue House statement. According to the FT, even the characterization of the center as a "research and development center" was off; Ericsson said it preferred to call it a "competence center."

For more:
- check out Bloomberg
- see the Financial Times

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