Ericsson Signs China Mobile Network Pacts

The deals are valued at a total of $1.44 billion.
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Wireless-equipment maker


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said Monday it has inked deals with two Chinese mobile operators to build out GSM networks.

Stockholm-based Ericsson said that separate agreements with

China Mobile

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China Unicom

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are valued at a total of $1.44 billion. The expansion projects will allow both operators to boost their network capacity and performance.

Ericsson said it will be one of the main suppliers of core and radio network equipment, along with related technical support and services, to help expand GSM coverage and capacity in 19 regions across China.

Shares of Ericsson were down 13 cents, or 0.7%, to $19.67. They've lost more than 11% on the year, with a significant portion of that coming after Sony Ericsson, the joint venture of


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and Ericsson,

warned that lower growth in the first quarter

would impact earnings.

Elsewhere in the sector, handset makers





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-- which will report earnings Thursday -- were each lower by about 0.8%.