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Ericsson

Ericsson

Industry: 
Telecommunications
Value of USG Contracts: 
119
Symbol: 
NASDAQ:ERIC
States: 
CA
FL
MD
NJ
NY
PA
TX
VA
Country: 
Sweden
Contact Information: 
Sources: 

The Ericsson website lists an office in Tehran. (Company website)

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“Ericsson has published its 21(st) Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility report summarizing its performance during 2013…In light of recent international developments related to Iran, Ericsson has decided not to phase out equipment deliveries. The intention is to engage with customers. At the same time the Sales Compliance Board decided to conduct a new Human Rights Impact Assessment based on this foundation.” (Wall Street Journal, “Ericsson Emphasizes Responsible business, energy and Technology for Good in 2013,” 4/11/14)

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"Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, has been under fire recently for, among other things, her investments in energy companies doing business in Iran, per a Washington Post story last week (http://bit.ly/121UkWg). But Rice also has had a stake in Ericsson, the Swedish mobile network equipment maker that has itself been in the spotlight for its growing business dealings in Iran. According to a Reuters report, Ericsson has been helping Iranian mobile telecom operators as part of long-term contracts, including one that involves an expansion project for Mobile Communications Inc. of Iran, the country’s largest mobile network provider (http://reut.rs/WhGryD). Iranian human rights groups say the Iranian mobile phone network is used to track and monitor dissidents and United Against Nuclear Iran has called for Ericsson to end its business relations with MTN Irancell, the country’s second-largest mobile network firm." (Politico, "Rice Investments In Businesses Working With Iran," 12/7/12)

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"The Swedish firm Ericsson is working with Iran's largest mobile telecom operator to expand its network and has promised to support another Iranian mobile carrier until 2021, according to interviews and an internal company document. The involvement of Ericsson, the world's largest mobile network equipment maker, comes at a time when many Western companies have stopped doing business in Iran because of international sanctions or concerns about damage to their reputations. While Ericsson argues in the internal document that telecommunications are a "basic humanitarian service," Iranian human rights groups say Iran's regime has used the country's mobile-phone networks to track and monitor dissidents. Though standard telecommunications equipment does not fall under sanctions, four major equipment makers, including Ericsson, have all said they plan to reduce their Iranian business... Fredrik Hallstan, a spokesman for Ericsson, confirmed the company is currently working on a new expansion project for Mobile Communication Co of Iran (MCCI), but said the venture, which the carrier calls Phase V, is covered under a contract Ericsson signed in 2008... He declined to discuss the nature of the work Ericsson is undertaking, its value or how the company will be paid... Hallstan said Ericsson's promise to continue supporting a second Iranian mobile operator, MTN Irancell, for many years falls under a 2006 contract. MTN Irancell is Iran's second largest mobile carrier. The sensitivity of Ericsson's work in Iran is made clear in a letter written by an executive of the company. On January 19, an Ericsson vice president wrote to MTN Group, a South African company that holds a 49 percent stake in MTN Irancell. In a letter marked confidential, the executive stated that Ericsson undertakes 'to not take actions that could unnecessarily bring any extra press scrutiny and that could potentially destabilize the working arrangements in Iran,' according to a copy reviewed by Reuters. The letter confirmed that Ericsson intends to 'continue supporting the MTN Irancell operation and future network expansions ... based on Ericsson's existing supply contracts ... as long as it is feasibly possible to do business in Iran.'... And it stated Ericsson would continue working with 'relevant international organizations to argue that telephony is a basic humanitarian service.' The letter concluded: 'Ericsson is looking forward to supporting MTN and strengthening our relationship by working closely together to resolve any practical obstacles and challenges facing the MTN Irancell business.' The executive, who at the time of the letter was in charge of Ericsson's business with MTN, did not respond to a request for comment. MTN declined to comment. Hallstan said the letter 'is correct' in that Ericsson will continue to support MTN Irancell under an agreement it signed in 2006 when the mobile operator launched." (Reuters, "Ericsson helps Iran telecoms, letter reveals long-term deal," 11/20/201)

 

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"The Swedish government is trying to prevent the European Union from imposing further sanctions on Iran for fear of losing a lucrative deal for Swedish communications company Ericsson, according to a Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem... 'We know that in Sweden they fear that if the deal between Ericsson and Iran is canceled this could have implications for the company's other deals,' the Foreign Ministry official said. 'The Swedes fear that other countries with problematic human rights records such as China will hear about the cancellation and worry about their ties with Ericsson.'" (Haaretz, "Fearing loss of lucrative deal, Sweden opposes new Iran sanctions," 10/14/2012)

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"Stockholm-based Ericsson AB, Creativity Software Ltd. of the U.K. and Dublin-based AdaptiveMobile Security Ltd. marketed or provided gear over the past two years that Iran's law enforcement or state security agencies would have access to, according to more than 100 documents and interviews with more than two dozen technicians and managers who worked on the systems... Ericsson and Creativity Software offered technology expressly for law enforcement use -- including a location- monitoring product proposed by Ericsson in early 2009 and one sold this year by Creativity, according to the interviews... Ericsson, the world’s largest maker of wireless networks, confirmed that in the fourth quarter of 2009 it sold a mobile- positioning center for customer billing purposes to MTN Irancell Telecommunications Services Co., Iran’s second-largest mobile provider... When Iranian security officers needed to locate a target one night in late 2009, one former Ericsson employee says he got an emergency call to come into the office to fix a glitch in an Ericsson positioning center... Ericsson says it will continue to maintain the system, but that it decided in October 2010 it would no longer sell any products into Iran due to recent efforts to tighten sanctions... AdaptiveMobile, backed by the investment arm of Intel Corp. (INTC), proposed a system in partnership with Ericsson for Iran’s largest mobile provider in 2010 that would filter, block and store cell phone text messages, according to two people familiar with the discussions. An Ericsson spokesman confirmed the proposal... Ericsson, which bid on the system, was told by MCI, the country’s largest wireless operator, to partner with AdaptiveMobile for monitoring and filtering technology, according to Ericsson spokesman Fredrik Hallstan. Ericsson didn’t win the contract, he says... Ericsson, the telecommunications giant with $28 billion in sales last year, in 2008 supplied Irancell with its Mobile Positioning System 9.0 for locating subscribers -- a test system that Ericsson says Irancell didn’t buy and could use only on a limited scale... Ericsson later sold Irancell the positioning-data component of the test system, says Richard Carter, Ericsson’s Istanbul- based head of commercial, sourcing and partnering in the Middle East and the country manager for Iran. It was sold in late 2009, the company confirmed. Known as a Serving Mobile Positioning Centre, the box calculates a person’s position and logs the data... The former Ericsson employee urgently called in to fix the system in late 2009 says he was told that Iranian intelligence officers were attempting to pinpoint the location of someone in the Zahedan area of southeast Iran... A former Irancell manager said that all such systems supplied to the mobile operator, including technology from Ericsson, were accessible by law enforcement agencies... The former Ericsson employee urgently called in to fix the system in late 2009 says he was told that Iranian intelligence officers were attempting to pinpoint the location of someone in the Zahedan area of southeast Iran... Before the election, on January 24, 2009, Ericsson officials pitched a tracking system specifically for Iran’s security agencies to MCI, according to a seven-page agenda and another document describing the Tehran meeting... Law enforcement agents would be able to track subscribers with 'easy and friendly' identification of geographic positions on a map, according to Ericsson’s 51-page proposal to MCI, which serves 44 million subscribers... The system Ericsson proposed offered capabilities for law enforcement referred to as “PoLIS” that would allow the interception of all phone calls occurring in a specific area, among other features, according to a copy of the proposal... Ericsson would have partnered with an Estonian software firm, Reach-U, whose tracking software 'is designed for state security agencies,' according to one of the documents in the proposal... Ericsson’s Carter says the discussions with MCI were preliminary and came to a halt as turmoil swept the country in 2009. He couldn’t find any reference to PoLIS features, he says... Everything supplied by Ericsson to Iran complied with international trade embargoes, Carter says, adding that their products have been a positive force in the Middle East by promoting communications and commerce. 'Ultimately, telecom is a force for good in society,' he says... Siavash Fahimi, an Ericsson employee, saw up close how these systems can be abused. The 27-year-old Iranian worked for Ericsson in Tehran until 2010, installing several different systems. Police arrested him on the outskirts of a rally that December, beating him with fists and a baton and jailing him for 52 days. Security agents interrogated him 14 times, presenting transcripts of text messages plus an elaborate diagram showing all the people he’d called -- and then everyone they’d called... Fahimi, who fled to Turkey after receiving a two-year prison sentence for his role in the protests, can’t be sure that Ericsson technology aided his interrogators, but he is familiar with the capabilities of these types of systems... As recently as 2010, AdaptiveMobile attempted to sell a similar product to MCI, the one on which it partnered with Ericsson... According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Ericsson signed at least 27 contracts worth $5.25 million with the U.S. government from the start of 2009 to the end of 2010. The data showed no U.S. government business with AdaptiveMobile or Creativity Software." (Bloomberg, "Iranian Police Seizing Dissidents Get Aid Of Western Companies" 10/30/2011)

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"Prior to Iran's political unrest in 2009, Huawei was already a major supplier to Iran's mobile-phone networks, along with Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between Nokia Corp. and Siemens AG, according to MTN Irancell documents... A spokesman for Ericsson said it delivered 'standard' equipment to Iranian telecom companies until 2008, which included built-in lawful-interception capabilities. 'Products can be used in a way that was not the intention of the manufacturer,' the spokesman said. He said Ericsson began decreasing its business in Iran as a result of the 2009 political upheaval and now doesn't seek any new contracts." (The Wall Street Journal. “Chinese Tech Giant Aids Iran,” 10/27/11)

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"Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi on Monday accused Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson of aiding monitoring in Iran, and encouraged members of the Iranian diaspora in Sweden to protest to the company.

"I am urging you Iranians in Sweden to please email Ericsson and object and say, 'Why are you selling the Iranian government software with which it can control its people'," the lawyer and human rights activists said.

Ebadi, who was speaking at Stockholm University, said Ericsson had entered dealings with the Iranian government similar to those Nokia Siemens previously had, alleging the company sold Iran software that allowed it to monitor text messages and mobile phone calls." (AFP, "Nobel laureate accuses Ericsson of aiding monitoring in Iran," 11/22/10)

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"Ericsson's Web site lists an office in Tehran. Among other things, it has sold communications equipment to the Department of Defense." From 2000-2009 the company has been the recipient of $119 million US federal funds.  Their activity in Iran is currently active. (The New York Times, "Profiting from Iran, and the US," 3/6/2010)

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"Saber Feyzi, managing director of TCI said sanctions havent stopped IT providers from selling to Iran as contracts for equipment such as switches and transmission and radio systems show. Companies including Siemens, Nokia , Eriksson, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Telaps, NEC, ZTE, Huawei Technologies Co and Wuhan Research Institute have all supplied the Islamic republic. Iranian officials have dismissed US sanctions as inefficient, saying that they are finding Asian partners instead. Several Asian firms are negotiating or signing up to deals with Iran." (Gulf Times, "IRAN TELECOM CO TO OFFER 50% STAKE BY MARCH," 1/14/09)

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"While U.S. companies have long been barred from operating in Iran, more than 200 multinationals have investments there, from British-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC and French telecommunications-equipment company Alcatel SA to Swedens electronics company Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson." (The Wall Street Journal, "Should states sell stocks to protest links to Iran," 6/14/07)

 

 

 

 

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