Reuters – Ericsson flags North America slowdown

Mobile telecoms gear maker Ericsson said on Friday a slowdown in North America created uncertainty over fourth quarter sales as operators cut spending after big investments in high-speed networks.

A build-out of the newest 4G/LTE networks by operators in North America, where Ericsson makes about a quarter of its sales and Chinese rival Huawei [HWT.UL] is effectively barred from doing business, has supported the Swedish firm at a time of stagnation in much of Europe.

But a period of intense investment to equip networks to deal with huge traffic increases from on-demand video and mobile internet use may be drawing to a close. The two biggest U.S. operators, Verizon and AT&T, have both said they were slowing the pace of capital spending.

“The trend is clear: Ericsson’s biggest customers in North America and Japan have largely completed their large roll-out programs of LTE, and revenues are to an increasing level coming from other markets, among them Middle East and China,” said Bengt Nordstrom, chief executive at telecoms consultancy firm Northstream.

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