Australian telecom giants Telstra and Optus are both eyeing offshoring jobs to India as part of cost-cutting measures in the face of a slow growth rate.
More jobs in Australia's $33 billion-a-year telecommunications sector are likely to shift to India, as Telstra is understood to be considering a major deal with India's Wipro, a television channel said on Thursday.
The deal would involve moving parts of IT development and management offshore, it quoted sources as saying.
According to the channel, Optus held staff briefings across the country on Wednesday for thousands of call-centre staff about its plans to boost existing Indian call-centre numbers from 500 to 800 immediately.
"Today, we reported to staff on the progress of our programme to grow offshore call-centre operations capability to supplement our domestic call centres," Optus spokeswoman Melissa Favero said.
"We commenced this programme nearly two years ago, and since then have grown our business and correspondingly increased our customer service headcount," she said.
Functions to be carried out by Optus's offshore contractor Convergys will eventually include consumer broadband cable support, sales order management, financial services, mobile post-paid customer services, small and medium business mobile business activations and mobile customer service, the report said.
"We announced the number of seats in our Indian call centre would grow over time and it had 150 seats initially and approximately 500 seats now. To date, we have recruited and trained 800 people for the Indian team," Favero said.