STOCKHOLM Ericsson (ERICb.ST), the world's biggest mobile phone network gear maker, signed a framework agreement with world no.1 carrier by subscribers China Mobile (0941.HK) regarding equipment and services, the Swedish government said on Tuesday.
It also said in a statement in connection with an official visit to Sweden by China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao that China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd (0762.HK) (CHU.N), the country's second-biggest mobile operator, had signed a letter of intent with Ericsson for the purchase of equipment and services.
"The general scope of the two agreements is the expansion of the 2G and 3G mobile networks in China," Sweden said.
Analysts expect China's telecom operators to spend around 350 billion yuan ($53 billion) this year on upgrading and expanding their 3G technology, up 9 percent from last year and outpacing the industry average growth rate of around 5 percent.
Among other Sweden-China related agreements signed during Wen's visit was a memorandum of understanding between Sweden- based carmaker Volvo, which was bought by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co in 2010, and China Development Bank.
The parties will evaluate possible financing of certain of Volvo's research and development as well as of production facilities in China, Sweden said.
(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom and Kevin Yao; Additional reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by David Holmes)