Mobile phone operator Vodafone has announced plans to cut about 500 jobs in the UK in an effort to reduce costs.

Vodafone, the world's largest mobile phone company by income, is shedding jobs as part of previously-announced plans for 1bn ($1.4bn) of cost cuts.

Vodafone, which employs 10,000 workers in the UK, faces rising raw material prices and increasing competition.

The 500 job losses include 170 posts at Vodafone's head office in Newbury, Berkshire, in back-office type roles.

All the group's operations are set to be affected, including a reorganisation of some of its call centres.

Vodafone has call centres and offices in Newark, Banbury, Theale, Trowbridge, London, Warrington, Stoke-on-Trent and Hayes.

Online focus

"Vodafone UK has today announced reductions to its operating costs in order for it to compete more effectively in the UK market," the company said.

"As customers look for best value in their mobile services, Vodafone intends to reduce its cost base whilst continuing to invest in new products and services to meet changing customer needs."

Vodafone said it did not intend to close any stores, but planned to cut costs by offering more online services, as it believed its 19 million UK customers wanted a greater focus on value for money.

The company said in November last year that it expected to reduce its worldwide operating costs by 1bn a year by 2011.

Earlier this month, the firm reported revenue of 10.47bn for the last three months of 2008, up 14.3% on the same period a year ago, and raised its forecast for full-year revenues after benefiting from the weaker pound.