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SWISSCOM

Orange slashes jobs in corporate positions

Orange Communications, Switzerland’s third-biggest mobile telecom operator, announced on Friday that it expects to cut 140 jobs this year — more than a tenth of its workforce — as it “rebalances resources”.

Orange slashes jobs in corporate positions

The company said it will cut around 70 jobs affecting “corporate functions” in the coming weeks before evaluating further measures in a second phase of redundancies later in the year.

“Our objective is to simplify our organization to enable us to focus more on our customers,” Johan Andsjö, CEO of Orange, said in a statement.

The company is launching a “fully commercial 4G network”  and plans to open 18 new Orange Centers to its existing 200 retail outlets, Andsjö said.

At the same time it plans to invest 700 million francs in the modernization of its telecom network, Andsjö said.

The company earlier said it plans to launch 4G, the fourth generation of mobile phone communications standards, in 10 Swiss cities on June 1st.

“As part of a series of measures, we want to rebalance our resources from corporate functions to more customer-centric positions,” Andsjö said.

This is expected to result in a reduction of up to 140 jobs, mostly in corporate positions, Andsjö said.  

Orange Communications, originally owned by France Telecom, entered the Swiss market in 1999 and was sold to London buyout firm Apax Partners for 1.6 billion euros in early 2012.

The deal emerged after an attempt to merge Orange Switzerland with Sunrise, the number two mobile operator, was rejected by Swiss competition authorities.

Orange Communications is now 100 percent owned by Matterhorn Mobile, a company under the indirect majority ownership of funds advised by Apax.

With a customer base of 1.65 million people, the company has 20.5 percent of Switzerland’s mobile market, just behind Sunrise (20.8 percent) and dominant player Swisscom (58.7 percent).

Its pool of employees has shrunk from around 1,700 in 2002 to fewer than 1,200 as of 2012.

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INTERNET

Swisscom to start charging 2.90 francs for paper bills

Swiss telecommunications giant Swisscom is set to introduce new fees for customers who wish to receive a simple, non-itemized hard copy of their latest bill.

Swisscom to start charging 2.90 francs for paper bills
Swisscom has justified the new charges by saying they are standard industry practice. Photo: AFP

Until now, customers have been able to receive one of these basic bills for free, but as of October 1st, a fee of 2.90 Swiss francs (around €2.60) will apply.

At the same time, the current fee of 1.50 francs for receipt of a detailed bill will rise to 2.90 francs.

Tell us: What is the best mobile phone deal in Switzerland for foreigners?

Meanwhile, people wishing to pay their bills over the counter at a post office will have to shell out 3.90 francs as of October 1st.

Customers affected by the changes will be notified on all their bills before the new charges come in.

Holders of basic service products including Swisscom Line Basic and Swisscom Internet Basic will be exempt from the new charges.

In a statement on the new fees on its website, Swisscom said that printed bills cost the company millions every year and that these costs should not be passed on to all customers.

The same applied to costs associated with over-the-counter services at post offices, the company said.

Swisscom also justified the changes by stating these were now standard industry practice.

Rival provider UPC charges 3 francs for sending out paper bills and up to 7.50 francs for paying bills at the post office. Salt charges 2 francs a month for sending out basic bills and 5 francs a month for detailed bills. Salt also charges 3.95 francs to customers who want to pay their bills at the post office.

For Sunrise, paper bills cost 3 francs for the basic version and 4 francs for a detailed version. Payment with a so-called red slip costs 5 francs whether this is done online or in a post office.

Read also: SBB launches free internet trial on long-distance trains

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