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CoSine to cut jobs, reduce spending

The network equipment maker will cut 45 percent of its work force, reduce R&D spending, and consolidate its sales and support staffs.

Battered by the continuing downturn in the economy, CoSine Communications on Thursday announced plans to lay off 45 percent of its work force.

A CoSine representative said the network equipment maker will cut 190 jobs, reduce research and development spending, and consolidate the company's sales and support staffs so they can focus on the company's larger telecommunications service provider customers.

CoSine competes against bigger networking companies such as Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks in building the equipment that service providers use to offer businesses virtual private network (VPN) services. The technology offers businesses inexpensive and secure high-speed connections to corporate networks over the Internet.

A CoSine representative said the cost cutting will allow the company to stretch out its cash as it waits for the economy--and telecommunications spending--to turn around. The company has about $150.5 million in cash.

CoSine customers include Sprint and WorldCom. About 40 potential customers are testing newly released equipment by CoSine, allowing the company to reduce R&D spending without hurting revenue in the near future, the company said in a statement.