Young cellphone user in Jerusalem
Young cellphone user in JerusalemIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Israelis using cell phone service on the Orange network may find it more difficult to reach customer service, and possibly have a longer wait to get help after next week.

Despite the Netanyahu administration's protestations of a healthy economy, the Partner cellular company reportedly plans to start massive layoffs.

Initial announcements prior to the Jewish high holidays claimed the communications giant would lay off about 150 employees.

The firm, which provides service for the popular “Orange” cell phone system, will send home more than 500 workers, a source told the Globes business news website Thursday.

Approximately eight percent of the 6,100-strong workforce is being let go as part of an “efficiency” drive at the company, the source said.

Most of the employees are from the customer service sector in the firm, although according to the report, the strategy is allegedly part of CEO Haim Romano's plan to build customer relations, rather than market share.

In addition, the firm is expected to close two service centers. Others will merge and become one-stop shops where customers will allegedly be able to access all of their services under one roof.