Nokia Siemens Network to axe 17,000 jobs

Networking equipment maker's plan to cut 23 percent of global workforce by 2013 will help it save US$1.34 billion as it focuses on mobile broadband and services, company says.

Nokia Siemens Network is expected to cut 23 percent of its global headcount by end-2013 as it aims to reduce operating expenses and production overhead and realign its business to focus on mobile broadband and services.

In a statement released Wednesday, the company said it plans to axe 17,000 of its employees by the end of 2013, representing 23 percent of its current 74,000 global workforce. This "organizational streamlining", which also includes cutting costs in areas such as real estate, information technology, product and service procurement costs, overall general and administrative expenses and "significant reduction of suppliers, is expected to help the company save about 1 billion euros (US$1.34 billion) during this period.

Additionally, the company will be realigning its strategy to focus on mobile broadband and services, the statement noted.

Elaborating, Nokia Siemens Network CEO Rajeev Suri said: ""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. 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 maximize the value of those networks, and the services capability to make it all work seamlessly. 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."