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Ericsson to separate Bluetooth

Sweden's big mobile firm tries to insulate its future

Ericsson is to announce the creation of a separate company for its Bluetooth business.

The new company, for which a name has yet to be announced, has already started operations, Mads Madsen, a spokesperson for Ericsson in Sweden said. The company is currently based in Lund, Sweden, where Ericsson has its main Bluetooth research and development facilities.

Bluetooth, a technology for wirelessly connecting devices, is part of Ericsson's consumer division, which is being restructured because of slumping phone sales. The licensing company is also part of the consumer division, Madsen said.

"The new company is an expansion of our existing business," said Madsen. "We expect it to be a profitable business." He declined to give any figures.

The new Bluetooth company will license the technology for various products ranging from hardware to software. The company will also license Bluetooth knowledge, training and support, Ericsson said in a statement released Wednesday.

Customers will be chip and module manufacturers as well as large computer makers specializing in mobile consumer devices, Ericsson said in the statement.

Ericsson won't license the Bluetooth standard as such, because it is an open standard. "Think of technology that builds on Bluetooth, like components for consumer products and software stacks," Madsen explained. An example is the technology behind the Bluetooth wireless headset Ericsson sells for use with some of its mobile telephones.


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