Australia’s second largest mobile operator Optus plans to cut as many as 500 jobs across both its consumer and enterprise groups as it moves to reduce costs by more than AUD215 million ($163 million).

The Australian reported earlier in the week that the operator is making the cuts to “protect its profits after embarking on an ambitious strategy of buying up expensive sports media rights”.

Optus, a subsidiary of Singtel, has 9.4 million mobile connections, giving it a 31 per cent market share, according to GSMA Intelligence. It currently employs more than 9,000 people.

Optus said it plans to restructure its consumer and enterprise divisions to help drive its transformation strategy, which it announced a year ago. The move aims to create a structure that allows its business to operate as an integrated and content-driven multimedia brand, it said in a statement.

It also plans to streamline its customer service functions by simplifying systems and processes and giving front-line staff a wider range of skills so they can resolve customer issues across products and services. The changes will also see Optus Business, as well as its wholesale and satellite divisions, rationalise roles and optimise resources in response to the increasingly competitive trading environment.

The restructuring will result in a number of roles being eliminated, Optus said.

Analysts estimate that Optus needs to sign up nearly 80,000 customers to break even on its English Premier League (EPL) investment, which runs for three years from this August, The Australian reported.

The operator, which purchased the EPL rights for a staggering AUD189 million, approached Foxtel and Fox Sport last month about using the pay-TV operators’ distribution channels to show EPL games in bars and clubs, the Sydney Morning Herald reported today.