Nokia Siemens to cut workforce by 17,000

 

Future in mobile, minus a quarter of headcount.

Telecoms infrastructure joint venture Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) will cut its global workforce by 17,000 in a bid to shed €1 billion ($1.3 billion) in costs by 2013. 

The company expects to have completed its huge round of redundancies by the end of 2013, which will represent about a quarter of its 74,000 staff. 

"These planned reductions are regrettable but necessary - and it is our goal to make them in a fair and responsible way, providing the support we can to employees and communities," NSN CEO Rajeev Suri said.

The company's future is in mobile networks, a unit which it bolstered last year with the $1.24 billion buyout of Motorola's wireless business, which added around 7,500 staff. 

"We believe that the future of our industry is in mobile broadband and services - and we aim to be an undisputed leader in these areas," said Suri.

One unit possibly on the chopping block is its fixed-line business, according to the Financial Times, however NSN said its optical network business would continue under the mobile unit.

Services will also remain in focus, however NSN will transfer some activities to global delivery centres. 

Like other telecoms infrastructure players such as Alcatel Lucent and Ericsson, NSN has come under pressure from lower cost Chinese rivals Huawei and ZTE.

The company will disclose details about each affected country as the cuts progress. 

In Australia NSN's last major services and mobile equipment deal has run into troubles as it fights with its customer Vodafone Hutchison Australia over an $8 million performance bond the carrier allegedly withdrew over network issues.

Last year, NSN also won the NBN Co's optical transmission equipment supply contract, worth up to $400 million. NSN staff are also part of the NBN Co's "tiger team".

Earlier this month NSN shed its microwave business to DragonWave for an estimated $146 million. 

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