STOCKHOLM, Sweden-L.M. Ericsson and Marubeni Corp., a Japanese general trading company, have signed a joint venture agreement to market and distribute Ericsson phones in the Japanese market.
Ericsson said the Tokyo-based joint venture company, to be named Ericsson Mobile Communications Japan K.K., will handle marketing, sales and support for mobile phones in Japan beginning Jan. 1. Ericsson will own 70 percent of the new company and Marubeni will hold 30 percent.
“Ericsson is already a supplier of PDC standard cellular systems, with more than a 20 percent market share,” said Johan Siberg, president of Ericsson Mobile Communications. “This is a long-term investment and a long-term market entry. The Japanese mobile phone market is the second [largest] in the world and for us it is extremely important to be present in all markets which represent all the major standards.”
Ericsson also announced it will open a development center in Japan that will focus on developing and testing mobile phones for the Japanese market. The center will design mobile phones, hardware and software for the 800 MHz and 1500 MHz frequency bands, Ericsson said.
This is Ericsson’s third mobile phone development center outside Sweden.