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Nokia Narrows CDMA Handset Focus

San Diego — Nokia will sell CDMA handsets to fewer carriers around the world and will focus its CDMA marketing efforts on Verizon Wireless and a Chinese carrier, which uses the related TD-SCDMA standard, TWICE learned.

The strategy, which will open up opportunities for other CDMA handset makers, reflects personnel cuts announced last week at Nokia’s San Diego office, where global and North American CDMA product development is centered.

In North America, Verizon Wireless is Nokia’s largest CDMA handset customer, but Nokia also sells to such smaller carriers as MetroPCS and Leap Wireless. Sprint and Virgin Mobile do not currently sell Nokia handsets.

Nokia declined to specify the number of employees to be laid off, but a spokesperson said, “There have been a small number of positions affected in this change. No specifics have been disclosed externally.”

As for the company’s CDMA handset strategy, the spokesperson said Nokia “internally communicated small changes to its CDMA business to strengthen our presence with key operators in China and North America, focusing on high-end CDMA devices.” The actions, the spokesperson continued, “are in line with our previously announced plans to adjust business operations and cost base to market demand while safeguarding future competitiveness.”