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GEC-PLESSEY MERGER MAY NOT BRING THORN-ERICSSON MORE UK ORDERS AFTER ALL

Ericsson is hopeful that results of Tranche 12 orders for British Telecom’s public switching requirements, due to be released to GEC, Plessey and Thorn-Ericsson any day now, will give the last a solid share this time round – but sources close to British Telecom say that the UK phone company is far from satisfied with Ericsson’s pricing. We are optimistic that we have put in a very competitive bid this time, says corporate affairs manager at Thorn-Ericsson Ron Ely. If British Telecom stays with the current situation in the future, and assuming the GEC & Plessey Telecomunications merger goes through, we would hope to stand to win a larger proportion of the tranche orders than we would have done in a three-way split, says Thorn-Ericsson corporate affairs manager Ron Ely. But the word out of British Telecom is that Ericsson has a lot further to go on price if it is to win a major share of future business, and that a third contender may well be introduced following the merger of GEC and Plessey telecommunications. And while Nor-thern Telecom is favourite for the third place fol-lowing its investment in STC – at a price way above the level STC shares reached yesterday – British Telecom sources suggest that Siemens as well as AT&T-Philips, which already has some Telecom business, is seen as being very much in the running..pl 72

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CBR Staff Writer

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