Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is combining its previously separate Middle East and Africa units into a single entity.
The Finnish vendor says its new Middle East & Africa (MEA) division will allow it to better serve large multi-country operator customers in the region such as Bharti Airtel, Etisalat, Qtel, STC, Vodacom and Zain.
However, the reorg could be seen as a strategy by NSN to sharpen its focus on more mature markets such as South Korea, Japan and the US.
“Our strategy was to go for Korea, Japan and the US because that is where operators are monetising data,” CEO Rajeev Suri told Bloomberg in an interview last quarter. “It was about withdrawing from some markets in the Middle East and Africa where it’s hard to make money.”
The new MEA unit is headed up by Igor Leprince, who was previously leading the company’s Middle East business. It will become part of NSN’s Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA) cluster, which covers the vendor’s operations in MEA, India, Asia Pacific, Greater China and Japan.
“MEA is a key market for Nokia Siemens Networks, where we have identified an increasing demand from operators for advanced mobile broadband technologies including TD-LTE and FDD-LTE technologies,” said Leprince.
The joint venture between Nokia and Siemens announced a significant restructuring in November 2011 in a bid to cut EUR1 billion in costs by the end of 2013. Measures included cutting 17,000 jobs, 23 percent of the global workforce, and selling off various business units as the company moves to specialise in mobile broadband.