Nokia to cut about 700 jobs in UK

Nokia C7 smartphone Nokia is going to focus on smart phones

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Mobile phone manufacturer Nokia is to cut about 700 jobs in the UK as part of plans to reduce its global workforce by 4,000 within two years.

The firm will also transfer 3,000 staff to Accenture, which will take over Nokia's Symbian software.

Nokia, which has about 2,400 UK staff, said the cuts were mainly in research and development (R&D) and software.

It is consolidating R&D sites and said its office in Southwood, Farnborough, Hampshire, would close in 2012.

Smart phone focus

The Finnish group plans to also shut its office in Southwark, London, when the lease expires, with staff at the site expected to transfer to the technology and consulting company Accenture under the outsourcing deal.

Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker, said the UK, Denmark and Finland were the worst affected by its global job cuts.

It said the jobs would go by the end of 2012 as it looked to cut costs by one billion euros (£886m).

Nokia aims to refocus on smartphones and is aiming to increase its capacity for smartphone development.

The manufacturer recently confirmed a deal with Microsoft to jointly develop smartphone technology.

'Dark day'

Under the terms of that deal, Nokia agreed to start using Microsoft's operating system on its smartphones instead of its own Symbian platform.

Nokia president Stephen Elop said: "With this new focus, we also will face reductions in our workforce.

"This is a difficult reality, and we are working closely with our employees and partners to identify long term re-employment programmes for the talented people of Nokia."

The Unite union, which represents a number of Nokia workers said the job losses were "disheartening".

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: "This is another dark day for the British economy - and it is not surprising that the company has decided to sneak out this very bad news in the week that the country's attention is focused on Friday's royal wedding.

"What is very disheartening is that mobile phones and their associated technology are one of the growth areas in the British economy, yet this still does not stop a successful company such as Nokia throwing people out of work."

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