Orange And T-Mobile Cut 1,200 Jobs

Eric is a veteran British tech journalist, currently editing ChannelBiz for NetMediaEurope. With expertise in security, the channel, and Britain’s startup culture, through his TechBritannia initiative

150 IT heads will roll, as Orange and T-Mobile merger Everything, Everywhere axes 1,200 jobs

When France Télécom’s Orange and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile merged their UK businesses earlier this year, they admitted job cuts would probably follow. After reporting a massive profits drop, the recently-named Everything, Everywhere company has acted to reduce its headcount by 1,200.

Among the job losses will be 150 people from the IT department, though the company said it is merely reducing overlap between roles. Most of the other reductions will hit the legal and other non-customer-facing departments as the company sheds 7.5 percent of its 16,000 staff. The company added that it had “no intention” of closing any of its main offices in Hatfield, London and Bristol.

Underlying Profits Tumble

Earlier this week, the company reported a slump just shy of 19 percent in its underlying profits. Second quarter revenues were also down by 4.8 percent to £1.7 billion. The company has said that it wants to reduce costs by at least £3.5 billion by 2014.

These results will be particularly upsetting for the company because it is hoping to consolidate its position before it loses part of its combined 1,800 MHz dominant share of the UK radio spectrum. A condition set by the European Commission in February was that the parent companies would agree to the sale.

In five days’ time, the company will begin to merge its networks, the first phase is said to join the 2G elements of their national networks to allow free roaming for their customers. This will please the T-mobile customers most because outside of London the T-Mobile network has been criticised for its unreliability. However, it will not improve the situation for internet access for 3G smartphone users.