OSAKA — Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. will tie up with LM Ericsson of Sweden in an attempt to cash in on the mobile phone business in Europe, Matsushita officials said Thursday.
Under the terms of the deal, Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., a Matsushita group unit, will be given permission to use specifications that will make its mobile phones compatible with Ericsson’s extensive network of terrestrial radio relay stations and switching stations in Europe, the officials said.
The new arrangement is expected to significantly help Matsushita in landing orders from cellular service providers operating in Europe.
To this end, Matsushita Communication will build a second European plant to augment its British plant, which is turning out 10 million handsets a year.
The new plant is likely to be built in Eastern Europe, with the electronics titan hoping to complete it by the end of 2001 to meet booming European demand.
The Matsushita group has a 30 percent share of the Japanese mobile phone market but has been lagging behind U.S. and European mobile phone manufacturers in tapping overseas markets.
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