Nokia's CDMA spat causes 500 job losses

The company's decision to cut back its CDMA plans has led to a jobs cull affecting half its San Diego campus

Nokia is cutting around 500 jobs at its San Diego campus — half the workforce at that location — following its decision to cut back its plans for CDMA technology, a rival standard to GSM which is used by one-fifth of the world's mobile phones, according to local press reports.

Those hit by the jobs cull will be offered a severance package or relocation within the company working on GSM projects. The layoffs are scheduled to take place in several waves between the end of 2006 and the middle of next year.

Nokia won't stop working with CDMA entirely but will instead focus its efforts on outsourced projects with third-party manufacturers. It recently withdrew from a joint venture with Sanyo to develop CDMA offerings, saying the ecosystem is "financially prohibitive".

The news follows a long-running spat between Nokia and Qualcomm, which owns CDMA patents.

The pair are facing off in a number of legal battles in both the UK and the US, with Nokia most recently taking Qualcomm to court to force it to conclude licensing agreements on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms".

The current agreement between the two mobile companies over CDMA licensing is scheduled to expire in April 2007 and no subsequent deal has been concluded.

No one at Nokia was available for comment.

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