SingTel moves 500 jobs to Sino Huawei

Singapore carrier transferring 500 positions to contractor tasked to operate and maintain its copper network and services, in move to cut costs, says company.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Local carrier Singapore Telecommunications will be moving 500 employees to Sino Huawei which has been contracted to manage its copper-based voice and data network.

In a statement Wednesday, Tay Soo Meng, executive vice president of networks at SingTel, said the transfer was part of restructuring efforts to move from a carriage-based telco to a multimedia company.

Sino Huawei was appointed to operate and maintain SingTel's copper-based voice and data network infrastructure, starting June 2012, for five years, said Tay. There would be no change to existing roles, responsibilities, renumeration and benefits for those who were moving to Sino Huawei, he added.

"[The contract] will enable SingTel to improve the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of its copper-based network, without compromising service quality for its customers," he said, adding that the operator will also be able to focus on developing services for Singapore's next-generation nationwide broadband network as well as its existing fixed and mobile networks.

According to a report by local broadcaster Channel NewsAsia, employees who have worked at least 25 months with SingTel will be compensated with a salary payout of 3.5 months. When contacted, however, a SingTel spokesperson declined to confirm the report and told ZDNet Asia the company was unable to share specific details related to the announcement. 

SingTel's Australian subsidiary Optus will "likely" be cutting jobs as well, though the number cut has not been confirmed, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The planned job cuts are part of SingTel's regional restructuring which was announced early this month. An Ovum analyst commented that the restructuring was "bold but necessary", but noted that the execution of the change would be challenging due to SingTel's large and diverse portfolio.

Editorial standards