Ericsson to invest in R&D centre in South Korea

SEOUL, July 12 (Reuters) - Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson ERICb.ST will invest in a new research and development centre in South Korea and increase its staff to about 1,000, the South Korean presidential office said on Sunday.

The plan was announced during South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s visit to Sweden and at his meeting with Ericsson CEO-elect Hans Vestberg on Sunday, Lee’s office said.

“According to the plan, Ericsson is expected to invest approximately $1.5 billion in South Korea in the next five years,” the presidential Blue House said in a statement.

The investment is part of Ericsson’s plan to expand collaboration with South Korea on fourth generation mobile technology, the Blue House said.

Ericsson has a staff of 80 in South Korea. No further details on the investment plan were available.

Ericsson has invested heavily in the Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile communication technology while South Korea's dominant fixed-line and broadband firm KT Corp 030200.KS provides WiMax high-speed wireless Internet in the capital Seoul.

Globally WiMax has been struggling for adoption as many of the world’s biggest wireless operators have already committed to build their next-generation networks using rival LTE. (Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)