The telecom industry has not invested in next-generation networks on the massive scale the equipment vendors had expected. Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Siemens (OTC:SIEGY) are trying to get out of their infrastructure-focused joint venture. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is cutting costs with a heavy hand. Headcounts are dropping across the industry.

Today, Swedish sector giant Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) joined the cost-cutting fray.

Ericsson announced that 1,550 positions will be eliminated across its Swedish operating base. The cuts will run deepest at Ericsson's largest job sites in Gothenburg, Stockholm, and Linkoping, but very few locations were spared the scythe. In all, 8.7% of Ericsson's Swedish employees will be sent back on the job market thanks to this move.

The cuts will fall in the first half of 2013, pending negotiations with local unions. Ericsson expects to reduce its 2014 operating costs by $33 million as a result of this move. That's less than 1% of Ericsson's current annual operating costs, and the company employs 109,000 people worldwide.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.