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Business

Deutsche Telekom to Close Half its Call Centers, Report Says

German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom plans to close nearly half its calls centers across the country, according to a German news report.

People in a call center in Germany

Call center employees across Germany will be affected by the closures

German weekly news magazine Focus said Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Rene Obermann had already informed mayors in the towns and cities concerned that thousands of jobs will be lost in their areas.

The magazine said Deutsche Telekom, Europe's largest telecommunications group, would make a formal announcement next week.

In a statement, Deutsche Telekom said it wants to consolidate its call centers into a smaller number of "modern and competitive" facilities, adding that there would be no outsourcing abroad.

Based in Bonn, Deutsche Telekom has 60 calls centers across the country with a staff of 18,000.

Most of the closures will hit the populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia where four out of nine call centers will be shut. Centers in the cities of Cologne and Moenchengladbach will be affected.

Only those call centers with between 400 and 900 employees will remain open, the magazine report said.

Deutsche Telekom said in 2005 that it would slash 32,000 jobs by this year. It employed 242,000 in 50-odd countries at the end of 2007, with 150,000 of those positions in Germany.

Earlier this month, Telekom reported a 35 percent slump in second-quarter earnings. The company blamed the strong euro and an erosion of its German customer base for the decline.

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