Networking provider 3Com Corp. is laying off approximately 10 percent of its worldwide workforce of approximately 3,900 to reduce costs amid a continued weakness for networking equipment, the company said Thursday.

The layoffs will take place over the next two quarters and primarily affect the company's employees in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 3Com said, with the deepest cuts coming in the company's Santa Clara, California, location. 3Com moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Massachusetts last month.

3Com had roughly 3,900 employees at the end of its fiscal third quarter in February, according to a company representative.

The layoffs come in part as a result of the close of the sale of the company's CommWorks carrier equipment business in May to UTStarcom Inc.

In a statement released Thursday, 3Com President and Chief Operating Officer (CEO) Bruce Claflin said that with CommWork's sale, the company will function as a single operating unit, enabling it to set a more competitive cost structure.

Despite the cuts, the company said that it would continue to increase its sales, marketing and customer service capabilities by adding account executives and consultants to support enterprise customers.

3Com also said that it plans to broaden its channel partnerships, particularly through its joint venture with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., announced last March.