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TCL, Ericsson engage to develop 2.5G mobile phones
China's top mobile handset maker TCL signed an agreement on Monday with Swedish telecom giant Ericsson to jointly develop 2.5 generation (2.5G) mobile phones.
Ericsson will provide the technology platform for the 2.5G mobile phones, while TCL will design, manufacture and market the products.
The 2.5G mobile phones are technologically named GPRS (general packet radio system), and have more powerful functions in sending multi-media messages including voice, text and picture information.
The co-operation benefits both parties, as Ericsson has the most patents for the 2.5G technology and TCL has strong manufacturing capabilities and far-reaching distribution channels.
Zhang Xingsheng, chief marketing officer of Ericsson China, said the company is trying to become like Intel in the mobile phone market via providing core technology.
He refused to reveal how much TCL paid Ericsson for the technology platform.
Ericsson used to be a major mobile phone manufacturer, but after continuous losses in recent years, it quit from manufacturing terminals last year and merged its stronger mobile sector with Sony to form a joint venture, Sony Ericsson.
TCL, a stable home appliances maker based in Guangdong Province, ranks No 3 in the mainland market after Motorola and Nokia, according to statistics from CCID Consulting, the research house of the Ministry of Information Industry.
TCL will introduce its first 2.5G mobile phone in September to be manufactured on the Ericsson platform, according to Wan Mingjian, chief executive officer of TCL Mobile Telecom Co.
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