Two companies leaders in telecom equipment – Nokia and Ericsson – leave Russia at the end of 2022. Experts say this exit will likely deteriorate mobile communications and internet data transmission quality.
Industry sources predict that the change will affect most part of the users in the Russian mobile communications market. Users will likely have to deal with decreased download and upload rates, and worse quality of calls.
The effects will be felt after some time into 2023, mainly due to the fact that local operators will have reduced capabilities to upgrade hardware and software and to introduce necessary software patches aimed at fixing bugs and security vulnerabilities, or coordinating the overall performance of the network.
Ericsson and Nokia together account for 50% of mobile stations in Russia. Until now, these companies were the largest telecom equipment suppliers, ranging from antennas and cables, to specialized high-throughput hardware for signal processing.
Until now, both Nokia and Ericsson had official exemptions to sanctions. These exemptions are about to end after EU imposed a new round of trade restrictions on the Russian Federation because of its continued invasion of Ukraine.
“We are working towards the end of the year and that’s when all exemptions (from sanctions) expire,” said Ericsson’s finance chief Carl Mellander.
“Our exit will be complete. We are not going to deliver anything to Russia,” commented Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark.