Ericsson CEO focused on expanding reach, not acquisitions

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) CEO Hans Vestberg said that despite the company's continued belief that mobile broadband adoption will accelerate, the world's largest equipment vendor is going to address new market opportunities beyond traditional operators.

Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg Speaking at the company's capital markets day in Sweden, Vestberg said Ericsson estimates the number of mobile broadband users worldwide will skyrocket from 400 million today to 3.5 billion in 2015. He said wireless operators will need to focus on network quality and efficiency, and that in emerging markets, carriers will have to modernize their infrastructure not only to meet increased data demands but also to boost power efficiency.

Still, he said Ericsson is looking beyond operators to markets including cable and TV companies, governments, healthcare, transportation and utilities.

Repeating a comment he has made in the past, Vestberg said there is "nothing on the radar screen at the moment" in terms of acquisition opportunities. In April, Ericsson agreed to purchase Nortel Networks' stake in its networking joint venture with LG Electronics, LG-Nortel, for $242 million.

Ericsson reported a first quarter net profit of $174.4 million, down from $238.8 million in the year-ago period. The company's sales fell 9 percent--the same as reported by rival Nokia Siemens Networks--to $6.26 billion, weaker than the $6.88 billion it had in the first quarter last year.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Reuters article

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