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Digicel to trim global workforce by 25%

Digicel: cutting worldwide workforce in its 31 markets

Bermudian jobs could face the axe as international telecoms firm Digicel announced plans to cut 25 per cent of its worldwide workforce over the next 18 months.

But Digicel stayed tight-lipped on whether the island would be affected by the job losses.

A spokeswoman at Digicel’s regional headquarters in Jamaica said: “We will announce the location of the hubs at a later date and, since it’s a global programme, we can’t give market specifics.”

The cuts came as the firm said it planned to revamp its organisational structure, creating two “regional hubs” for the Caribbean and Central America and two for the Pacific region to provide centralised administration and shared services across its 31 markets as part of its Digicel 2030 “global transformation programme.”

The company said it would launch an enhanced voluntary redundancy programme scheme to start at the beginning of next month.

Digicel also announced it had struck a global partnership deal with Chinese telecoms company ZTE for a multiyear network upgrade programme.

A statement from Digicel yesterday said: “These initiatives occur as telecoms providers across the globe move to benefit from significant technology advances and manage changing customer needs in terms of data usage and competitive threats from unregulated over-the-top operators.”

Bermuda-based Digicel hired consultants last December to help it cut its $6.5 billion debt, described by analysts as “unsustainable”.

Digicel’s statement did not give a number for its global workforce, but figures released before its flotation bid two years ago showed it had 6,334 permanent staff and a further 989 on temporary contracts around the world. Using these figures, more than 1,500 jobs could go within the next 18 months.

Colm Delves, Digicel Group CEO, said: “We are building Digicel for 2030 and beyond. Our transformation programme sees us taking the bull by the horns and daring to be different by challenging the status quo and by innovation-led growth.

“That’s what we’re known for and that’s what we will continue to be known for into the future.”

Mr Delves added: “Now we’re on a mission to build Digicel for the future with our sights set on delivering a superior superfast network experience and putting our customers in control.”

The company said it had invested more than $1.65 billion in upgrades to its network and platforms and in introducing fibre to home and mobile broadband services.