Wipro Ltd is facing troubled times with its telecom business.

The soaps-to-software company, which acquired Nokia’s mobile TV unit in 2009 for an undisclosed sum, has shut down this business amid lack of this technology adoption in Europe and a clash for content with telecom operators who have their own streaming services.

TV technology

Further, since 2008, Nokia, which had phones - like N96 that supported TV technology called Digital Video Broadcasting, stopped making phones with this technology, according to industry watchers. As a result, it absorbed nearly half of the 200 employees working in this unit, according to a source in Wipro.

All these employees were on Nokia’s rolls and were later transferred to Wipro.

The company does not give out the number of employees working in this business. Wipro has a total employee strength of 1,46,402.

When contacted, a Wipro spokesperson said the officials’ concerned were travelling. However, a former employee told Business Line on condition of anonymity that the company gradually phased off employees as it did not see roles for them within the company.

This exercise, which started at the end of last year, was completed in the second half of 2013, said the source.

Wipro’s telecom revenues have been under stress for the last three fiscal years. For example, in fiscal 2010, technology, media and telecom services contributed to 26 per cent of Wipro’s IT services revenue and was the largest contributor along with financial services.

However, at the end of the third quarter, this business contributed 13.7 per cent.

Qualcomm too exits

Wipro is not the only company struggling with mobile TV technology.

Qualcomm, which developed a digital broadcast system called MediaFLO, also discontinued work on it after 2010 due to a lack of subscriber uptake and high capital expenditure, according to reports.