Ericsson and Nokia have confirmed they will both exit the Russian market completely by the end of 2022 in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
The telecoms industry was given an exemption on wider global sanctions on Russia on humanitarian grounds, however both companies suspended and scaled back their operations shortly after the conflict began.
Ericsson has said it will provide financial assistance to those affected by the withdrawal, while Nokia had previously said it would look to find jobs in other countries for some of its 2,000 Russian employees.
Cisco in Russia
“Since announcement of indefinite suspension of business operations in Russia in April 2022, we have been working through the implications closely with our customers and employees,” an Ericsson spokesperson told TechRadar Pro.
“Ericsson will gradually wind down business activities in Russia as we complete our customer obligations over the coming months. Ericsson currently has 400 employees in Russia and we are fully committed to provide financial and well-being support to all employees who will be affected. Many of our employees were already on paid leave.”
“By the end of the year, the vast majority of our employees in Russia will have moved on from Nokia, and we have vacated all of our offices," a Nokia spokesperson told Reuters.
“We will retain a formal presence in the country until the legal closure is completed.”
Both companies have a limited presence in Russia, with Huawei and ZTE far more influential. This latest development means the two Chinese vendors are likely to exert more control over the market, although the development of Open RAN technologies could help operators fill the technology gap.
Hundreds of Western companies have made plans to either close or sell their Russian businesses, while others have suspended shipments of their products to the country.
This includes networking giant Cisco, which made its temporary suspension permanent in June.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.