Ericsson shuts down telecom cable manufacturing operations

Shutting down its telecom cabling operations means the company is completely exiting cable manufacturing.

As part of a review of its operations, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has decided to cease all manufacturing of communications cables, reports's sister site, Lightwave. On May 3, Ericsson announced that it has agreed to sell its power cables operations to NKT Cables. Shutting down its telecom cabling operations means the company is completely exiting cable manufacturing.

The operations are part of Ericsson’s Networks business unit. The unit manufactured both copper and fiber-optic cables. The company says the market for copper cables has shrunk worldwide. Meanwhile, it adds, while demand for fiber cable has increased, most of that demand is in Asia. That leaves little need for the current amount of cable-making capacity in Europe, Ericsson has decided.

The decision will see the closing of manufacturing operations in Hudiksvall and Stockholm, Sweden. The company says it is in discussions with the appropriate unions regarding affected personnel. Ericsson expects the shutdown to affect 318 positions in Hudiksvall and another 36 in Stockholm. Affected workers aren’t expected to be notified before this August.

"It is a tough message to bring to our colleagues in the telecom cable operations in Hudiksvall and Stockholm today,” comments Tomas Qvist, head of Special Products in the Networks business unit, as well as head of Human Resources for Ericsson in Sweden.

He added, “The decision is based on the fact that Ericsson's production of telecom cables is small from a global perspective, and that we also have a small market share. There is overproduction on the cable market in Europe. Unfortunately, our production has not been operating at full capacity for a long time and has struggled with profitability."

Ericsson’s fiber-optic cabling lines included blown fiber products and drop cables for fiber to the home (FTTH) applications, other outside plant cables, as well as various fiber interconnect products for enterprise networks. Net sales for the company's telecom cables operations in 2012 amounted to approximately SEK 1 billion. Ericsson estimates the restructuring charges for shutting down the cabling operations will be approximately SEK 0.5 billion.

See also: Anixter suing cable manufacturer over substandard product

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