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NSN creates MEA business unit

Finland-based telecoms equipment vendor Nokia Siemens Networks has brought together its operations in the Middle East and in Africa to create a new, single, regional organisation structure covering the MEA region, headed up by Igor Leprince, previously in charge of Middle East operations.

With this change, Nokia Siemens Networks is expanding its Asia and Middle East regional cluster to include business in Africa. Continuing under the leadership of executive board member Ashish Chowdhary, the new Asia, Middle East & Africa cluster (AMEA) will manage the company’s customer operations in MEA, India, Asia Pacific, Greater China and Japan.

The beleaguered equipment vendor adds that the move will allow it to serve large multi-country operator customers such as Bharti Airtel, Etisalat, Qtel, Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Vodacom and Zain in a more integrated manner both within the MEA region and across AMEA operations.

“MEA is a key market for Nokia Siemens Networks, where we have identified an increasing demand from operators for advanced mobile broadband technologies including TD-LTE and FDD-LTE technologies,” said Leprince. “With our focus on being the world’s specialist in mobile broadband through product innovation and quality processes, we are absolutely committed to helping our MEA customers realise their vision of becoming advanced mobile broadband providers.”

The firm’s CEO Rajeev Suri told Bloomberg at the end of last year that he plans to withdraw from some markets in the Middle East and Africa where it is proving hard to make money, target a few key markets such as the US, Korea and Japan where operators are monetizing data, and defend the company’s position in the rest of the world.

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, and plans to focus mainly on mobile broadband solutions in the future.

Nokia Siemens Networks posted an operating profit of €182mn in the third quarter of this year on sales of €3.5bn – a considerable improvement on the operating loss of €114mn that it suffered one year earlier.

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