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Ailing telco kit manufacturer Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is to slash 17,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2013 as it eyes up an IPO.

This equates to a 23 per cent drop in the workforce which along with rationalisation of real estate, targeted budget cuts in IT, product and service procurement and admin costs are expected to reduce overheads by €1bn.

“As we look towards the prospect of an independent future, we need to take action now to improve our profitability and cash generation,” said Rajeev Suri, CEO at NSN.

“These planned reductions are regrettable but necessary – and it is our goal to make them in a fair and responsible way, providing the support we can to employees and communities.”

The firm, which saw a 16 per cent rise in sales to €3.4bn (£2.9bn) in its last trading update, revealed today it is to make a play for "end-to-end mobile network infrastructures and services" with a particular slant on mobile broadband.

As a result, any areas of the business deemed peripheral to the strategy will be "divested or managed for value", NSN said.

The company has started consultation with staff in line with country-specific laws with locally led programmes aimed at the areas of the business that will be hit hardest by the massive restructure. ®

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