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Ericsson Working With Iranian Telecoms Networks

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Ericsson has been accused of working with Iran's largest mobile network, and has reportedly agreed to support another network for the next decade.

Citing letters and interviews, the Reuters news agency report goes counter to the trend of the past couple of years for telecoms firms to pull out of the country, which is facing international sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Although the sanctions do not directly affect telecoms networks, supporting services is fraught with difficulty and can be a public relations nightmare, as Nokia Siemens Networks found when it was accused of selling eavesdropping equipment to the country.

Ericsson confirmed that it is currently working on a new expansion project for Mobile Communication Co of Iran (MCCI), but said the work is covered under a contract Ericsson signed back in 2008.

Ericsson has not extended its contracts with MCCI, and said that it has no plans to do so. It is however working with MTN Irancell, but said in a letter sent to the network that it would prefer to keep the matter quiet.

Other telecoms vendors have either pulls out, or are cutting back their work in the country. Last December,  Nokia Siemens Networks said that  toughening global sanctions against Iran that "make it almost impossible for Nokia Siemens Networks to do business with Iranian customers."

The company added that the opaque shareholding structures at some of its customers meant that it couldn't be sure if it was breaking sanctions when selling goods there. It also noted that sanctions had made it difficult for the company to transfer money out of Iran for about a year.

On the web: Reuters

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Tags: ericsson  mtn irancell  mcci  Iran