Rajeev Suri, CEO of Helsinki-headquartered telecoms equipment vendor Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has told Bloomberg that he plans to build on “beachhead” deals signed in the US earlier this year, as operators there continue to add capacity and turn a profit.
While the Finnish firm has signed a number of deals in the US this year, including a major one with Sprint and smaller ones with AT&T and Verizon Wireless, its Chinese rivals ZTE and Huawei have struggled since being officially blacklisted amid security concerns.
Suri adds: “Our strategy was to go for Korea, Japan and the US because that is where operators are monetizing data. It was about withdrawing from some markets in the Middle East and Africa where it’s hard to make money and the rest of the world we would defend and not grow. What we saw in the third quarter was that the strategy is working.”
The NSN chief has already started implementing a drastic cost-cutting programme that will see around 17,000 jobs go (about 23% of the total), as he seeks to make the company sustainably profitable.
“Let’s just focus on where we have scale, and the others – where we don’t have scale and will never get it – let’s just sell those businesses or put them into maintenance mode,” Suri said. “The key is to be patient and play the long game.”