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German mobile workers fear for jobs

Germany’s mobile phone job market is facing a shake up with cuts confirmed at mobile operator E-Plus and expected at handset manufacturer BenQ Siemens.

Dutch carrier KPN, which operates the E-Plus network in Germany, said Thursday that it is to restructure to better challenge rivals in the German market.

E-Plus will eliminate a complete management layer, cutting management positions by almost 40 per cent, or 300 heads.

On the plus side, the operator expects to expand its sales and retail activities, recruiting more than 350 additional employees to open new shops. E-Plus’ customer facing employees are to increase from some 40 per cent of the workforce now to approximately 70 per cent by the end of 2007.

Meanwhile, speculation is also rising over job cuts at mobile handset manufacturer BenQ Mobile. The struggling mobile phone maker is closing production plants in Mexico and Taiwan and this week has had to ward off speculation that it could also outsource the work of its last remaining production plant in Germany.

A report in Germany’s Manager Magazin claims that the dual brand BenQ Siemens devices are not selling as well as expected.

Taiwan’s BenQ acquired Siemens’ handset unit in June 2005. The German manufacturer effectively paid BenQ Eur50m to take the ailing division off its hands.

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