Mobile operator EE has announced plans to buck a trend - creating 600 customer service roles onshore, meaning all customer calls will be answered in the UK and Ireland by the end of the year.
The move, which comes just weeks after the completion of BT's £12.5bn takeover of the firm, creating the biggest telecoms group in the country, is part of new chief executive Marc Allera's plans to improve customer experience across the board.
More than 100 roles will be created in Merthyr, North Tyneside, Plymouth and Ireland by the end of June 2016, when all EE Pay Monthly customer calls will be handled onshore. The locations of the remaining 500 jobs will be announced throughout the second half of 2016.
Allera said: "We’re bringing 100 per cent of our EE customer service calls back to the UK and Ireland.
"We’ve already seen a major boost in customer satisfaction by creating 1,400 new service jobs here since 2014. Now we’re creating 600 additional jobs to handle all EE customer service calls in the UK and Ireland by the end of this year, providing the best possible experience for our customers.”
It will be introduced alongside EE's move to grow 4G coverage "to the very edges of the UK". The group is investing in filling "notspots" in current 4G areas, as well as expanding coverage from 60 per cent of the country's landmass to 95 per cent by 2020.
Allera added: “For the average smartphone user, not-spots aren’t tolerated and 2G doesn’t deliver what they need. Customers want 4G speeds everywhere they go, and mobile operators are too used to saying ‘no’ to new coverage. Today, I’m saying ‘yes’, with an ambition to go further than any operator has ever gone, and with the ultimate aim of covering the whole UK with 4G.