NSN TD-LTE success marred by job cuts
It was a tale of two countries for Nokia Siemens Networks yesterday, as staff in China celebrated the completion of the first end-to-end TD-LTE data call, while their colleagues in Finland were told to clear their desks.
The TD-LTE trial at Nokia Siemens Networks’ R&D Center in Hangzhou, China was designed to prove the interoperability of the firm’s infrastructure with end-user equipment, in this case prototype USB dongles from Samsung.
TD-LTE is the variant of LTE for unpaired spectrum that many Chinese carriers are eyeing as their preferred 4G evolution path
NSN provided the base station and core network for the test, which ran software compliant with the latest 3GPP baseline specifications.
The importance of the market to NSN was highlighted last week, when it signed frame agreements worth €750 million with China Mobile and China Unicom covering the continued supply of GSM, WCDMA, and TD-SCDMA equipment.
Marc Rouanne, head of Nokia Siemens Networks’ Network Systems business unit, said it expected commercial deployments of TD-LTE to begin in the second half of 2010.
The news was tempered somewhat by NSN’s plans to lay-off more staff in Finland, as part of cost-reduction measures that helped the firm reduce its operating loss to €226 million in 1Q10, despite a 9% fall in net sales.
Up to 120 jobs will go at the firm’s plants in Espoo, Oulu, and Raahe, on top of the 450 layoffs the firm announced in Finland last month, local reports state.