Nokia Siemens Networks axes 17,000 staff

Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture responsible for the provision of services and hardware to the telecommunications trade, has announced plans to axe around 17,000 jobs as part of "an extensive global restructuring programme".

NSN is one of the largest providers of mobile broadband technologies, boasting contracts with 75 of the world's top 100 3G operators, but the recent struggles of parent company Nokia and fierce competition in LTE and 4G markets has clearly taken its toll.

"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," claimed NSN boss Rajeev Suri as part of the announcement. "At the same time, we need to take the necessary steps to maintain long-term competitiveness and improve profitability in a challenging telecommunications market.

"Our goal is to provide the world's most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximise the value of those networks, and the services capability to make it all work seamlessly," Suri added. "Despite the need to restructure parts of our company, our commitment to research and development remains unchanged, with investment in mobile broadband expected to increase over the coming years."

The cuts - which represent around 23 per cent of NSN's overall workforce - are part of a drastic cost-cutting programme which sees the company aim to drop its operational expenses by around €1 billion by 2013, and come ahead of the possibility of site closures to inject some immediate cash from property sales into the company's coffers.

Previously, the company had sought to find private investors to purchase the shares held by Nokia and Siemens, but abandoned the search in July.

"As we look towards the prospect of an independent future, we need to take action now to improve our profitability and cash generation," said Suri. "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."

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