IT staff spared under VHA redundancies

Joint venture will also maintain Telstra, Optus, Ericcson and Nokia-Siemens network relationships

IT staff at Vodafone and Hutchison Australia have been largely spared as the redundancy process rolls on at the VHA joint venture between the two companies.

A spokesperson for the company, confirming that that 320 staff would be equally cut from both Vodafone and Hutchison, said while there were areas of duplication within the national and state offices and most business functions, there was no ‘one area’ of the business that was significantly impacted by the redundancies.

“Due to the volume and complexity of work at hand, the Technology Team within VHA was minimally affected by the selection and redundancy process,” the spokesperson said.

The redundancies follow the completion of the Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) merger transaction on 9 June 2009. VHA conducted an internal selection process for all national and state office employees, which was completed during September 2009.

On the networking side of the integration, the spokesperson said VHA would continue to maintain Vodafone’s investment in Nokia Siemens Networks and Hutchison’s in Ericsson.

“We are continuing to maintain our investment in both networks and we are also continuing to work with both Telstra and Optus,” the spokesperson said. “Our overall longer-term network strategy is subject to detailed negotiations, so we are not in a position to discuss our network strategy at this time.”

The spokesperson said VHA would for the time being maintain its joint venture networks with both Optus and Telstra with ‘3’ customers continuing to use the ‘3’ network and Vodafone customers continuing to use the Vodafone network.

VHA had also announced plans to retain and expand its call centre in Kingston, Tasmania, when it brings Vodafone and 3’s Australian customer service operations under one roof from June 2010.

“The Kingston call centre, which currently services Vodafone’s 4 million customers, will be expanded to additionally service 3 mobile’s 2 million customers from June next year,” the spokesperson said. “The facility will provide employment to more than 500 Australian call centre workers.”

The spokesperson would not comment on the state of VHA’s relationship with handset providers citing commercial confidentiality.

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