Finnish telecoms giant Nokia will axe up to 14,000 jobs to cut costs, the group said on Thursday (19 Oct), after it reported a 20% drop in sales in the third quarter of this year.

Nokia, which currently has 86,000 employees globally, hopes to cut between €800m and €1.2bn by 2026 by reducing its workforce to between 72,000 and 77,000.

The cost-cutting aims to save €400m in 2024, and €300m in 2025.

Competitor telecom equipment manufacturer Ericsson also axed 8,500 employees globally, 8% of its total headcount, as part of its cost-cutting plan in February this year.

Nokia attributed the drop in sales to a slowing demand for 5G equipment in countries like the US.

Earlier this month, European telecom operators were warned they may have to wait for the next European Parliament election in mid-2024 to push Big Tech to finance 5G infrastructure.

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By GlobalData

Despite this, most EU countries have set clear 5G coverage targets in line with the European Commission’s goal of having 5G in all populated areas of its member states by 2030.

Data from research firm GlobalData found that by the end of 2023, mobile 5G subscriptions in Europe will reach 216.4 million, or 15% of total mobile subscriptions.

Financing has been a major impediment to 5G deployment globally, with governments increasingly looking to collaborate with the private sector to upgrade infrastructure.

Argentina announced, in October, that it would launch a ‘5G auction’ to raise $1bn to upgrade the country’s network.