Ericsson secured €250 million in credit from the European Investment Bank (EIB) which it will use to support 5G research and development, six months after signing $370 million worth of similar agreements with other financiers.
The loss-making vendor said it spent around €3.7 billion in R&D during 2017, and has continued pumping cash into the development of 5G-related innovations this year.
Ericsson executives have repeatedly highlighted a leading role in 5G as central to the company’s future strategy. However, it faces strong challenges from rivals including Nokia, Huawei and ZTE, which are also pouring billions into research.
Announcing the signing of its latest credit agreement, Ericsson CFO Carl Mellander said it would “support our research and development activities for 5G and extend our debt maturity profile”.
EIB VP Alexander Stubb added 5G was one of the most important innovations in the coming years, which the institution was proud to support.
The EIB credit facility is due to mature five years after the vendor gets the cash and has been supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments.
In December 2017, the vendor signed credit agreements worth $220 million from Nordic Investment Bank and $150 million from Svensk Exportkredit.
Ericsson expects large-scale 5G deployments in 2020, in line with international expectation. Its forecasts estimate one billion 5G subscriptions around the world by the end of 2023.