Russia announces $1.4bn boost to domestic gear manufacturing

Russia announces $1.4bn boost to domestic gear manufacturing

The Russian government revealed four operators have signed contracts to buy over RUB100 billion (US$1.4 billion) worth of domestic telecoms equipment, after Nordic vendors Nokia and Ericsson outlined plans to exit Russia.

Reuters reported, minister of communications and mass media Maksut Shadaev announced the deal stating "this will allow us to organise modern production of telecoms equipment in Russia," but did not reveal the names of the manufacturers or operators.

Russian operator MTS declined to comment to Reuters whether it was one of the buyers. Its rivals Megafon, Veon (Beeline) and Tele2 did not reply to requests for comments from the news agency.

The Russian government has launched programmes to wean operators off foreign gear as domestic manufacturers increased their market share from 11.6% in 2021 to 25.2% this year, reported Reuters.

Huawei has reportedly stopped selling equipment in Russia but is continuing to provide software updates and maintenance. Analysts speaking to Developing Telecoms said the Chinese vendor was poised to take up the abandoned market share of Nokia and Ericsson if Huawei could circumvent sanctions.

Nokia and Ericsson will cut software updates by next year which will provide major challenges for all four operators to maintain services.

"Unquestionably, software patches are paramount to ensure networks remain operational, safe secure and reliable," said PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pescatore.  

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