Mobile network equipment maker Nokia Siemens Networks is in talks with various companies to sell its business support systems (BSS) unit as it looks to ditch some product lines and focus on mobile broadband, its chief executive officer Rajeev Suri said today.
Formed by Nokia and Siemens in 2007, Nokia Siemens has struggled for profitability due to pricing pressure from Chinese rivals ZTE Corp and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Sweden's Ericsson amid a general economic downturn that has put pressure on spending by telecom companies.
Overall spending by telecom operators is expected to be flat this year, Suri said in Bangalore, although Nokia Siemens sees some rebound in investments by customers in the United States in the current second half.
To improve profitability, Nokia Siemens is selling non-core units and laying off about a quarter of its staff.
''I would say overall about six divestments have already taken place,'' Suri told reporters. ''They're either not core to our mobile broadband or we see that the profitability is not where we want it to be.''
The company has sold off its network equipment for wired networks and exited the market for WiMax, a wireless technology that has failed to win as much support among carriers as Long Term Evolution (LTE).