Ericsson Telephone signed contracts worth US$1.7 billion with China Mobile and China Unicom to provide second- and third-generation mobile communications equipment, Dow Jones Newswires reported. Mats Olsson, Ericsson’s president for Greater China, said the contracts were equal to the company’s total China sales for 2008. Under a framework agreement with China Mobile, Ericsson will supply some of the infrastructure as the carrier expands its network in 18 provinces. A similar deal with China Unicom will see the company upgrade Unicom’s GSM networks in 10 provinces and build GSM/WCDMA and wireless networks in 15 provinces. The contracts are expected to run through the end of the year. Analysts said the deals had been expected but they are still a positive sign for Ericsson’s growth prospects this year.