TA joins WAC as job cull fears linger on

Telekom Austria Group (TA) has joined an internationally-operating union of telecommunication service providers.Technology media report today (Thurs) that the Austrian market leader has become a member of the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC), with TA chief Hannes Ametsreiter named board member of the body.WAC aims to be an international interface between creators of IT applications and customers around the world.Meanwhile, TA has dismissed reports that a firm-internal group has been set up to debate a takeover offer by Russian powerhouse Mobile TeleSystems (MTS).Rumour has it that owner ÖIAG, Austria’s state-holding agency, considered privatising TA to save costs after the company suffered dramatic losses due to a decline in demand for landline phone connections.Labour union officials however fear TA was about to lay off dozens of landline experts in a reaction to dampened interest in this service.TA has around 16,000 employees and more than 21 million customers in Austria and eight other Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. Its turnover decreased by 5.9 per cent to 1.126 billion Euros in the first three months of this year compared to the same time span in 2009.