Everything Everywhere slashes 600 jobs, criticised over spectrum sale

Everything Everywhere (EE), the UK's largest operator, said it will cut up to 600 jobs. The company said that mainly back-office staff would be impacted, with all call centre and customer-facing workers unaffected.


This move, coming after a steady flow of job cuts among managers at the operator, is in line with CEO Olaf Swantee's desire to increase the pace of integration of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK.

An EE spokesman told the Daily Telegraph that this latest workforce cut reflected a new phase focused on accelerating the delivery of its ambitions. "The new structure will help the company become more agile and ensure it is keeping in touch with customers," he said.

As EE handled the fallout from this announcement, the company attracted criticism from UK members of Parliament  for wanting to sell spectrum it holds for a substantial profit. A committee of MPs issued a report saying that EE should be compelled to set aside for future investment the revenues it gains from selling some of its 1800MHz frequencies during the much-delayed LTE spectrum auction.

While declaring its support that the forthcoming LTE spectrum auctions should happen as soon as possible, EE said that further consultation is necessary due to the complex issues involved with the auction rules.

"As part of the merger of Orange and T-Mobile to create Everything Everywhere, we are required to sell some 1800MHz spectrum, for which we pay £33 million in license fees to the government each year," an EE spokeswoman told the Guardian newspaper. "It is our intention that all proceeds from the sale of this spectrum will be invested into our UK network to benefit our customers across the country."

However, the report from Parliament seemed unsure of EE's intent, and called upon the telecom regulator Ofcom to investigate a process to stop EE from profiting substantially from the sale of publicly-owned spectrum.

The committee's report delivered a further blow to EE hopes by concluding that the reallocation of the 900MHz spectrum owned by Vodafone and O2 has not resulted in a "significant or permanent distortion of competition."

For more:
- see this Daily Telegraph article
- see this Guardian Article
- see this Mobile Today article 

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