Ericsson recalls its first GPRS mobile phones

L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. is recalling all R520m handsets, its first handset for GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) networks. The phones have battery management problems, the Swedish phone maker said Thursday.

“We discovered a production problem that led to a reduction of the phone’s talk time and standby time. The problem has been corrected; this won’t lead to a delay in the rollout,” said Ericsson spokeswoman Simone Versteeg.

Versteeg said that Ericsson had delivered “a minimal number of handsets” in Sweden only. Shipments of phones to other countries have been cancelled. Recalled phones won’t be destroyed, but returned to the factory for an update, said Versteeg, who declined to disclose what the recall operation would cost Ericsson.

According to the product specification sheet, the R520m should offer up to 11 hours of talk time and up to 300 hours of standby time. Versteeg wouldn’t detail what the faulty handset’s performance was.

The R520m was released to operators in Sweden on March 30, an event Ericsson described as one of its most important releases to date.

The GPRS networks allow packet-based data transfer at higher speeds than the present circuit-switched GSM (Global System for Mobile telecommunications) networks. Most European operators have their networks ready and are waiting for phones.

Ericsson, in Stockholm, can be reached at