EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Ulf Ewaldsson, Ericsson’s head of digital services, admitted the company had “spread ourselves too thin” in certain areas, which led to a recent shift in strategy that put the focus back on selling networks to operators.

Ewaldsson was following up on comments made earlier this week to Reuters, which revealed the company would focus on its traditional core business for now, shifting away from an ambition to boost its media, utilities and transport units.

Speaking to Mobile World Live in Shanghai, Ewaldsson admitted the change in direction came after a “tough year” for the company, which included a profit warning and the appointment of a new CEO – Borje Ekholm – who took over five months ago.

Ewaldsson explained the company’s management team decided to change strategy and work out a plan “that will bring us back to a more profitable situation that is also more sustainable”.

He said the new strategy contained two major components. The first was to “use our technology leadership to make sure that we become the most competitive and cost efficient provider of infrastructure to service providers”.

And the second: “We need to make sure our customers can monetise on these networks that we are providing them with,” he said.

Ewaldsson however did not close the door on other potential clients, insisting “there are many in the grey zone”.

The vendor had previously earmarked generating 25 per cent of revenue from outside telecoms by 2020, but Ericsson’s decision to scale back on enterprise has also thrown a cloud over its existing partnership with Cisco. The deal, announced in 2015, was designed to boost business for both firms and help them enter new areas.

Ewaldsson also confirmed the company was indeed seeking “strategic options” for its media business, following reports that it was open to selling the unit.

Click here to watch the full interview.