Mobile phone giant Vodafone today announced it is cutting around 500 jobs in the UK as part of efforts to reduce costs.
The cuts to the 10,000-strong UK workforce come as the group looks for £1 billion of cost savings worldwide by March 2011.
Newbury-based Vodafone has seen conditions worsen in the UK and other key markets as the recession has deepened, hitting sales of handsets.
The job losses will take place across the business, with 170 going from Vodafone's headquarters, but retail staff are not involved.
Employees affected by the decision were informed today and some may leave immediately, while others will undergo a consultation process, according to the company.
A spokeswoman said: "Vodafone UK has today announced reductions to its operating costs in order for it to compete more effectively in the UK market.
"As customers look for best value in their mobile services, Vodafone intends to reduce its cost base whilst continuing to invest in new products and services to meet changing customer needs."
Vodafone said it was creating around 100 new roles this year as it develops services, with investment focused on its retail estate and online offerings.
The group first unveiled plans for cost reductions last November as part of a strategy to offset the impact of the recession on consumer spending.
Vodafone expected to save £500 million by March 31 2010 and was trimming costs across the group.
Earlier this month the group, which has 19.1 million customers in the UK, posted revenues of £10.47 billion for the three months to December 31, up 14.3 per cent with exchange rate movements not stripped out.
Vodafone - which twice scaled back revenue hopes last year as conditions worsened in the UK and other key markets - said the pound's slump had boosted full-year revenue expectations.
But the group also warned of job losses, declining at the time to reveal the number of roles that would be affected.
As well as its headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire, Vodafone has call centres and offices in Newark, Banbury, Theale, Trowbridge, London, Warrington, Stoke-on-Trent and Hayes.