Nokia ( NOK) and Siemens ( SI) said they're moving ahead with the merger of the infrastructure businesses.

The European tech titans said they will start sharing the proposed product portfolio plan for the future Nokia Siemens Networks with employees and customers starting in early February. As a result, Nokia and Siemens will immediately begin the process of sharing the proposed future product portfolio information with employee representatives.

"As we continue to make strong progress in integration planning for Nokia Siemens Networks, it is critical that we are able to maintain the strong support that we have seen so far from customers by providing them with clarity about our future portfolio plans," said Simon Beresford-Wylie, CEO-designate of Nokia Siemens Networks. "Sharing that information now is also in the best interests of employees so we are able to ensure the strongest possible start for Nokia Siemens Networks. While the portfolio plans are still subject to input from customers and employee consultation processes, we believe that we will be ideally positioned to provide best-in-class products and services for the converging telecommunications world."

Planning is still underway to assess the personnel, site and country-level impact of the proposed product portfolio plan as well as expected transition times and requirements for ongoing support for existing products.

The companies have said they expect to cut as many as 9,000 jobs after the merger. The planned merger to create Nokia Siemens Networks is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007.

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