7/15/2009 12:38:00 PM
O2 technology staff ‘on notice’ as it prepares for third phase of Vodafone network share
O2 has placed 265 staff from its technology department ‘on notice’.
There will only be 92 jobs available as the operator prepares for the third phase of its network share with Vodafone.
The employees are in the operator’s ‘implementation’, ‘optimisation’, ‘radio planning’ and ‘transmissions’ departments. Staff will have to reapply for jobs and 173 out of 265 people could be left unemployed, according to sources. O2 said it had created an additional 113 roles and the remaining could be given voluntary redundancy.
Sources close to the matter said the job cuts were part of O2 and Vodafone’s joint venture ‘Cornerstone’, a new division created for the network share that Mobile revealed in March 2009.
In April, it emerged that O2’s technology team was at risk from job cuts after Cornerstone was formed to manage the site share programme for the two operators. The new division will take charge of the network share by the third quarter of this year.
At the time, O2’s technology teams were informed in a meeting chaired by chief technology officer Derek McManus that redundancies would be a ‘last resort’.
McManus (pictured) has internally described the network share deal as part of plans to make the operator 50% more efficient, with a 50% reduction in costs and a 50% reduction in the time it will take to roll out the network.
Meanwhile, O2 has signed a multimillion-pound, multi-year services agreement with Ericsson for maintenance and other services, for the operator’s UK 2G and 3G networks.
Ericsson will provide field maintenance services for radio and switch sites, spare parts management and site optimisation and drive services for O2’s UK arm. One technology source told Mobile that the staff who previously ‘optimised’ the network would now be outsourced through Ericsson. However, O2 said the teams would still be employed by the operator.