Ericsson and Microsoft detail mobile joint venture plans

L. M. Ericsson Telephone Co. and Microsoft Corp. announced on Monday the official launch of Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB, a joint company formed as part of a broader alliance struck between the companies late last year.

The joint venture company, 70 per cent owned by the Stockholm-based telecommunications equipment vendor and 30 per cent by Microsoft, is scheduled to release its first products for mobile phone operators by the end of the year, the two companies said in a statement.

Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture has its headquarters in Stockholm, and the company’s focus will be on developing products that will allow mobile operators to offer e-mail services to business users as well as consumers, they added.

It will also develop calendaring, to-do lists and other personal information management software, as well as offerings that enable professional users mobile access to corporate data. The products will integrate Microsoft’s Windows 2000 Server and Exchange platforms with Ericsson’s infrastructure and mobile Internet technologies, the companies said.

In addition to Sweden, the joint company will also set up regional centres around the world, Ericsson and Microsoft said. Ulf Avrin, an Ericsson official, has been appointed president of the company.

The European Commission has said that the formation of the company will not be subject to a merger review filing, according to the statement.

Ericsson and Microsoft in December of 1999 announced plans to form a joint company focusing on the mobile Internet as part of a strategic alliance between the two companies.

Ericsson, in Stockholm, can be reached at Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash., is at