Nokia is cutting 350 jobs in Finland as part of its plans to find savings worth 700 million euros ($800 million) by next year. Photo: Reuters.

INTERNATIONAL – Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia is cutting 350 jobs in Finland as part of its plans to find savings worth €700 million (R11.1bn) by next year.

“The planned changes are indispensable to secure Nokia’s long-term competitiveness,” Tommi Uitto, head of the company’s Finnish operations, said in a statement on Tuesday.

At present, Nokia has around 6 000 employees in Finland.

The network industry – dominated by Nokia, Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei – has been battered by years of slowing demand for existing 4G networks and mounting investor doubts over when new 5G contracts can begin to boost profitability.

Nokia and Ericsson could eventually benefit from curbs on Huawei equipment by the US and some of its allies but so far the effects have not materialised.

“The initial development of our 5G business has been strong and we will increase our investments into this critical technology,” Uitto said.

Nokia announced its latest cost-cutting plan in October, without spelling out the impact on jobs. It is also still to complete a €1.2bn programme of cost cuts, launched after its 2016 acquisition of Franco-American Alcatel-Lucent.

Shares in the company were down 0.7 percent after the announcement.

Reuters