Ericsson said on Monday it was buying the antenna and filters division of Germany’s Kathrein in a move which will boost its 5G product portfolio. Photo: File

INTERNATIONAL – Swedish mobile network equipment maker Ericsson said on Monday it was buying the antenna and filters division of Germany’s Kathrein in a move which will boost its 5G product portfolio as antenna technology becomes increasingly important.

Ericsson said in a statement that the acquired business had sales of about €270 million (R4.3 billion) last year, excluding sales to Ericsson, and about 4 000 staff.

“With this acquisition we strengthen our presence, first of all for 4G … but also ultimately in 5G. It’s a strategically very important acquisition for us,” Ericsson chief executive Borje Ekholm told Reuters in an interview at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Ericsson said mobile networks increasingly depended on antenna technology, with more integration of antennas and radios and increasing use of active antennas in next-generation 5G.

“With more powerful 5G networks coming, this impacts antenna technology development further to provide the needed performance, capacity and coverage,” it said.

Ericsson, one of the world’s largest mobile network gear suppliers together with Finland’s Nokia and China’s Huawei Technologies, said the two companies had agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

“In addition to broadening Ericsson’s portfolio of antenna and filter products, the acquisition will bring vital competence for the evolution of advanced radio network products,” the company said.

Ericsson said it expected to close the deal in the third quarter of this year subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

Reuters