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Robots Coming? Telstra Sackings Just The Start, Says Budde

Robots Coming? Telstra Sackings Just The Start, Says Budde

Telstra CEO Andy Penn’s decision to axe another 1400 jobs at the telco’s Australian operations is “understandable” and the logical result of a range of developments in the Down Under telecoms market, according to newly independent communications industry researcher and commentator Paul Budde.

“The telecoms market has been stagnant, so in order to remain profitable, cost-cutting is needed,” he told CDN.

“Automation, AI and robotisation is also taking place within Telstra. This is replacing manual jobs within the company across the board – for instance in admin, customer service and network operations.

“Also, with Telstra moving out of the infrastructure business, further jobs are lost – they go to NBN and their contractors, as much of this work cannot be replaced by machines.”

Still more jobs may go, Budde warns. “I also believe that this will be an ongoing activity. If you look at the cost structure of Google, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, etc., you see that they work with a fraction of the staff of the traditional telcos – yet increasingly they are becoming their main competitors.

“So in order to stay relevant in the market [the telcos] will relentlessly have to keep cutting costs.”

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