Global Dispatches

An International News Digest

Nokia Siemens Venture To Cut 9,000 Jobs

ESPOO, Finland -- Nokia Siemens Networks, an Espoo-based joint telecommunications venture of Nokia Corp. and Siemens AG, has announced plans to cut 9,000 jobs, including about 3,500 in Finland and Germany.

The company had said in April, when the joint venture was formed, that it expected to cut 10% to 15% of its workforce of 60,000 over four years.

Nokia Siemens this month announced the final number to workers and their representatives in Finland and Germany, where the parent companies are based.

Some of the jobs will be shifted to business partners, the company said in a statement.

Nokia Siemens said that it expects to cut costs by ¬1.5 billion ($2 billion U.S.) per year by the end of 2010 as a result of the layoffs.

The company said the cuts were made because its service provider customers face intense competition and pricing pressures.

Finland and Germany will remain major centers of employment for Nokia Siemens, the company said, noting that more than 60% of its employees work outside of those countries.

-- Stephen Lawson, IDG News Service

Berlin Rejects Call For Open Source

BERLIN -- At a hearing earlier this month, the Berlin city government rejected a call by the Green Party to migrate computers in the German capital to free open-source software.

The city leaders really dont get it, said Olaf Reimann, who is responsible for IT issues in the Berlin wing of the environmentalist political party. With open source, the city could save money, reduce its dependency on Microsoft and even create jobs for small and medium-size IT companies in the region.

Reimann noted that a party-funded study on the use of open-source software in Berlins public sector concluded that the city could reduce IT costs by more than 50% if it migrated to open-source software.

The study also points to the economic benefits of not being tied into Microsofts licensing policies and software upgrade strategy, he said.

Berlin, which runs nearly 60,000 computers, spends about ¬250 million ($340 million U.S.) annually on IT, the study said.

At the hearing, city officials reiterated their preference for using a mix of open-source and proprietary software products for economic and performance reasons.

-- John Blau, IDG News Service

Ericsson, Sun to Build Mobile Java Apps

SAN FRANCISCO -- LM Ericsson Telephone Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc. have agreed to jointly help the open-source community develop Java-based server applications that can run on wireless networks.

The two companies announced the agreement at the JavaOne 2007 conference here last week.

Under the agreement, Sun and Stockholm-based Ericsson will contribute to the GlassFish open-source community, which was formed to develop Java Enterprise Edition-based server applications, said Rich Green, Suns senior vice president for software.

The agreement extends GlassFishs focus to mobile networks, Green said.

Ericsson has agreed to contribute pieces of its server software to GlassFish, in addition to tools and expertise to support developers. Ericsson may also allow developers to test their applications on live IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks.

Martin Harriman, vice president of marketing and business development for the multimedia business at Ericsson, said the company could not develop new IMS services on its own. This is a big step for us, he said. Weve never worked like this before.

-- Robert Mullins, IDG News Service

Australian Trade Office Rolls Out IP Network

SYDNEY -- Australias Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has started rolling out a $7 million (U.S.) IP telephony network that will include several new features.

Integ Communications, a Sydney-based unit of the Ux Consulting Company LLC in Roswell, Ga., was awarded the contract to install the system.

Integ CEO Ian Poole said the network will support desktop integration, collaboration and mobility for department offices throughout Australia. The goal, he said, is to improve productivity and cut support costs.

Once the Australian rollout is completed, Poole said, the network will be extended to the departments worldwide offices.

The system includes OmniPCX Enterprise voice systems and OmniTouch Unified Communications applications from Alcatel-Lucent, Poole said.

The network will include softphones, multimedia unified messaging, single-number/multiple-device support, audio- and videoconferencing, and presence management capabilities.

-- Sandra Rossi, Computerworld Australia

Suns Grid Service Is Going Global

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Sun Microsystems is expanding its utility computing service from the U.S. to 23 countries, the company announced this month.

The service, which calls for customers to pay an hourly rate for access to a Sun data center, began as a U.S.-only pilot in March and is now ready for expansion, said Rohit Valia, group product manager for the Sun Grid Compute Utility.

Sun charges $1 (U.S.) per CPU per hour to access a network of Sun x64 systems running Solaris 10.

Sun said the utility offering is now available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.

The service is for companies that have short-term needs for extra computing capacity but dont want to expand their data centers, Valia said. With, users only have to build out their own capacity for an average level of usage, not occasional peaks, he said.

-- Robert Mullins, IDG News Service

Briefly Noted

Indias finance minister, P. Chidambaram, has approved Vodafone Group PLCs plan to acquire a majority stake in Indian mobile services operator Hutchison Essar Ltd. for $11.1 billion (U.S.). Newbury, England-based Vodafones plan was cleared a week earlier by Indias Foreign Investment Promotion Board. The approval had been delayed to let the board determine whether the deal violated Indian rules limiting foreign equity in telecommunications companies to 74%.

-- John Ribeiro, IDG News Service

As part of an effort to expand its presence in Australia, HCL Technologies Ltd. has opened an office in Canberra. The Noida, India-based IT services company said the new office will enable it to beef up its business process outsourcing and remote infrastructure management services.

-- Sandra Rossi, Computerworld Australia

Toshiba Software Development (Vietnam) Co. plans to open a development center in Hanoi next month. The facility will make embedded software for consumer electronics products. It will initially employ about 20 people, and its workforce is expected to grow to about 300 during the next three years, according to the companys parent firm, Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp.

-- Martyn Williams, IDG News Service

Sun Microsystems has filed a new version of its antitrust lawsuit against Hynix Semiconductor Inc., accusing the Ichon, South Korea-based company of inflating prices for the dynamic RAM chips used in Suns servers and storage systems. A similar lawsuit was dismissed in April by a U.S. federal judge, who asked Sun to provide more evidence of DRAM market patterns.

-- Ben Ames, IDG News Service

KAZ Group Pty., the Sydney-based IT services arm of Telstra Corp., announced that it plans to lay off 200 workers. A spokesman for Melbourne, Australia-based Telstra said the staff cuts are part of a realignment plan announced last November that included investments in simpler IT systems and a reduction of duplication within the business.

-- Rob Irwin, Computerworld Australia

Compiled by Mike Bucken.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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