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Nokia Siemens Networks

Nokia Siemens Networks

Industry: 
Telecommunications
Value of USG Contracts: 
21
Symbol: 
NYSE:NOK
States: 
GA
TX
Country: 
Finland
Sources: 

Board control is held by Nokia, with Nokia President and CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo serving as company Chairman.

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"The executive board of network-equipment vendor Nokia Siemens Networks said it has decided not to take on any new business in Iran and will gradually reduce its existing commitments, effective Jan. 1, 2012. In a letter to its staff in Iran, the Helsinki-based joint venture cited toughening global sanctions against Iran that 'make it almost impossible for Nokia Siemens Networks to do business with Iranian customers.' The Wall Street Journal obtained a copy of the letter... The action by the company—a joint venture between Nokia Corp. and Siemens AG—ramps up economic pressure on Iran, which has a growing mobile-phone industry that the government controls... An article on page one of the Journal in October documented the growth in Huawei's business in Iran after Western companies, including NSN, pulled back following the government's bloody crackdown on its citizens two years ago... In its letter, NSN said there were "serious concerns" over whether the shareholding structures of some of its Iranian customers meant the venture was prohibited from doing business with them under international sanctions. NSN said it was monitoring the situation 'continuously.'... It also said that sanctions on financial institutions have made it difficult for NSN to transfer money out of Iran for about a year... NSN, which has about 400 employees in Iran, announced last month it would cut nearly a quarter of its global work force of 74,000 in a broad restructuring to focus on mobile broadband... The venture came under fire in 2009 after Siemens disclosed that NSN had provided Iran's largest telecom, government-owned Telecommunications Co. of Iran, with a monitoring center capable of intercepting and recording voice calls on its mobile networks... NSN had also provided network equipment to TCI's mobile-phone operator, as well as another operator, MTN Irancell, that permitted interception... NSN sold its global monitoring-center business in March 2009. The company also established a human-rights policy to reduce the potential for abuse of its products." (The Wall Street Journal, "Nokia Siemens Venture to Reduce Its Business in Iran," 12/14/2011)

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"An imprisoned Iranian activist [Isa Saharkhiz] is suing Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) over allegations that the telecommunications company provided the Islamic regime with a monitoring system it used to spy on the opposition Green movement.... Saharkhiz, who is still in detention, discovered during his interrogation in Tehran's Evin prison that his whereabouts were revealed when security officials listened in to his mobile phone conversations using technology NSN allegedly sold to Iran, his son Mehdi told the Guardian." (The Guardian, "Iranain activist sues telecom firm over 'spying system,'" 8/24/2010)

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As of June 29, 2010, USASpending.gov now lists that Nokia Siemens has received nearly $26.7 million from the U.S. government, with the overwhelming majority of those funds ($23 million) coming from the Department of Defense (USASpending.gov, 6/29/10).

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"Nokia Siemens also continues to provide services to two cellphone companies in Iran. The company spokesman also said that “Forty million people in Iran have gotten cellphones over the last couple of years.” Between 2000 and March 2010, Nokia Siemens received $21.5 million in U.S. federal funds (The New York Times, “Profiting from Iran, and the U.S.”, 3/6/10).

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On June 22, 2009, amidst the post-election unrest in Iran, The Wall Street Journal reported that in 2008, the Nokia Siemens Networks had sold equipment to Iran that contributed to the Iranian regime’s ability to monitor and censor Internet, voice and mobile communications.

The “monitoring center [Lawful Interception Gateway (LIG)],” sold to the government’s telecommunications monopoly TCI (Telecommunications Company of Iran), intrinsically provides the regime “the capability to intercept any communications that runs over them.” The equipment also has lawful uses, such as “intercepting data for the purposes of combating terrorism, child pornography, drug trafficking and other criminal activities carried out online.”

Reportedly, the Iranian government began to make extensive use of this technology during the post-election unrest. The regime likely used the equipment to perform “deep packet inspections,” allowing the government to monitor online communications such emails, Internet phone calls, Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messaging, etc (The Wall Street Journal, “Iran's Web Spying Aided By Western Technology,” 6/22/09).

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Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is a multinational telecommunications, hardware, software, and services company working with communication system providers in 150 countries (Company Website. “About Us”).

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Nokia and Siemens created the jointly-owned subsidiary in 2006, merging their respective network infrastructure divisions. The 50/50 joint venture is incorporated in the Netherlands and headquartered in Finland (Ovum, “Siemens and Nokia to merge network infrastructure divisions,” 6/19/2006).