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Wipro to acquire Nokia Siemens' R&D unit in Berlin

Posted: 17 Oct 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:radio access development  R&D centers  3G 

Indian group Wipro Technologies is buying from Nokia Siemens Networks an R&D operation in Berlin, Germany that focuses on radio access development. Nokia Siemens Networks continues to shed units and workers as it restructures. As part of the deal, 58 employees of Nokia Siemens Networks are being transferred to Wipro Technologies' operations, one of the largest independent R&D services providers in the world.

"Wipro Technologies has been a valued partner of our parent companies Nokia and Siemens for many years. We have successfully cooperated with them on various development programs," said Ari Lehtoranta, Head of the Radio Access Business Unit, Nokia Siemens Networks. "As regards the personnel transferring to Wipro Technologies, they will join a strong partner, where their competencies will be a natural fit. Our customers will see a strengthening of our capabilities to ensure high quality products."

The consultation process regarding the conditions for the transfer of the employees involved has started, but the companies are not saying when the deal is likely to be completed.

"This partnership will further strengthen Wipro's capabilities and R & D services in the third-generation 3G. This will enhance Wipro's offerings across the wireless network including access, core and service infrastructure," said Ramesh Emani, President, Telecom & product engineering solutions.

Wipro covers almost all aspects of wireless and wireline communications development and has been focusing on radio access technologies. It has also been keen to extend its presence in Europe.

The move is part of Nokia Siemens' strategy

—announced last year when the parent companies grouped their infrastructure operation into the joint venture

— to reduce headcount by about 9,000 from the combined 60,000, and thus save approximately Rs.8,317.16 crore (Euros 1.5 billion) by the end of 2010.

Over the past few months, it has transferred about 230 staff, mainly engineers, to Finnish consulting group TietoEnator Telecoms and Media. The bulk of the employees transferred worked at Nokia locations in Tampere and Helsinki on R&D projects and platform development.

The joint venture also sold, for an undisclosed sum, the cellular basestation development group at its Southwood, near Farnborough, England site to communications software group Aricent, who will retain 100 of the software designers working on GSM and EDGE development at the R&D centre.

It has also sold its R&D center in Herentals, Belgium, to IT consulting company Devoteam Group, and most recently, concluded a deal with IBM, which will see Big Blue taking on 235 people in R&D groups in Berlin and Munich as part of a five-year contract for which the companies did not disclose financial details.

The Nokia Siemens unit has expertise designing communications infrastructure systems including a variety of voice and media gateways.

- John Walko
EE Times

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