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Leading telecommunications provider Ericsson (ERIC - Analyst Report) recently funded a study to explore the role of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) in education as part of its vertical expansion as an ICT solutions provider.

The year-long collaborative action research (CAR) study was managed independently by a team of experts from some renowned universities. The study revealed that ICT can be successfully integrated into education systems to enhance learning with an optimal mix of infrastructure and trained teachers.

The ICT-based education model will provide standard education facilities to affluent areas, while improving the quality of education in areas with limited resources.

The rural schools participating in the study were provided with open source resources for teaching along with an access to online library from Connect to Learn, which was the key element in designing and implementing the study. The results from the study indicated that there is a promising potential in ICT-based education system to improvise the role of education in future generations.

Earlier in September this year, Ericsson closed the acquisition of Canada-based Telcocell, a consulting and systems integration company to strengthen its capability in the area of ICT and offer full transformation capabilities.

Over the years, Ericsson has also invested significantly on its research & development (R&D). In 2012, Ericsson's R&D expenditures were around $4.8 billion, reflecting approximately 14.4% of its revenues. Ericsson plans to invest around $1 billion for constructing three global ICT centers in the next five years. These centers will primarily be supporting the R&D organization to develop and verify solutions, creating the foundation for the next generation technology and cloud-based services.

Ericsson currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some other stocks worth mentioning include ShoreTel, Inc. (SHOR - Snapshot Report), Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. (UBNT - Analyst Report) and Motorola Solutions (MSI - Analyst Report). While ShoreTel and Ubiquiti Networks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) each, Motorola has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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