THE WRAP: NSN to sack 17k, IDA gets powerful

John C. Tanner
25 Nov 2011

It was the week that saw NSN make plans to sack 17,000 staff, as Singapore’s regulator gained the power to split up companies and the US began formally investigating Chinese equipment vendors.

Nokia Siemens chief Rajeev Suri revealed plans this week to restructure the company over the next two years after failing to drag itself out of the red in 2011.

NSN will switch its focus to mobile broadband networks and managed services, sell businesses deemed to be non-core, or manage them for value and shave €1 billion from the firm’s operating costs. That also means slashing 17,000 jobs along the way.

It was also the week that Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA Singapore) was granted new regulatory powers after the Singapore parliament amended the nation's Telecommunications Act, including giving the telecom minister the right to order the structural separation of an operator.

Under the new law, the government will also allow takeover of a telecom service by a third-party in the event of insolvency by the owner, and the IDA will have tougher powers in imposing fines. The IDA pledges to wield its new powers only as a last resort.

The week also spelled more headaches for Chinese telecoms equipment vendors hoping to crack the US market, after a US government committee launched a full investigation into the potential security threat of such companies.

The House permanent select committee on intelligence (HPSCI) said it will review the extent to which the vendors provide the Chinese government with the opportunity to more effectively conduct online espionage. China’s commerce minister of commerce called on the US government not to “politicize trade issues”.

Chinese vendors weren’t the only ones under investigation this week – FCC chairman Julias Genachowski calling a hearing to evaluate AT&T's $39 billion bid to acquire T-Mobile USA.

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