Ericsson dials up 800 UK jobs as it benefits from ban on Huawei tech

Sweden’s Ericsson says it expects to create 800 jobs in the UK by 2022 as it capitalises on the ban on Huawei technology in the country’s 5G rollout.

The telecommunications firm, which is also supporting 5G connectivity through contracts with the four major UK mobile operators, said build engineering, project management and field operations roles would be available.

Most of the jobs, the company said, would be created among its partners as it upgrades 20,000 network sites and accelerates 5G deployment.

Ericsson, which already employs 2,500 workers in the UK, said a new “5G centre of excellence” to be opened at its Coventry offices by the year’s end would help drive ambition.

A survey it recently commissioned rated UK progress on 5G as “average” within Europe and estimated an economic boost of £14.8bn could be realised if the country seized “the full potential of 5G networks”.

Chinese firm Huawei was banned from the UK’s network in July and the company’s role in the UK’s infrastructure will be non-existent by 2027.

Ericsson has reaped the benefits of the security-driven decision though market experts have said the Huawei snub will delay the rollout of 5G and add further costs.

John Griffin, the chief executive of Ericsson in the UK & Ireland, said: “Investment in 5G technology is fundamental to the future of the UK and as a global leader in 5G, we are putting in place all of our technology and expertise to deliver a cutting-edge telecommunications infrastructure that will support the growth of new jobs, kick start the UK economy and create a platform of unparalleled innovation.”

The government welcomed the investment.

Investment minister Lord Gerry Grimstone responded: “The UK’s highly skilled workforce and dedication to world-class innovation continues to make it one of the most attractive business environments for tech investors.

“As our economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19, inward investment in cutting-edge technologies across the UK will help us to build back better nationwide, levelling up the UK.”

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