BONN: Europe's biggest telecoms group, Deutsche Telekom, is to shut nearly half its call centres in Germany as it strives to consolidate into a smaller number of "modern and competitive" facilities.

Ceo Rene Obermann has reportedly been in touch with the mayors of towns where the targeted centres currently operate.

The company, which says there will be no outsourcing of the jobs abroad, has sixty call centres in Germany, with an 18,000 workforce.

It announced in 2005 that it was planning to axe 32,000 jobs by this year.

Earlier this month, Telekom reported a 35% slump in Q2 earnings which it blamed on a strong euro and an erosion of its German customer base.

Data sourced from Deutsche Welle (Germany); additional content by WARC staff