Orange has announced 450 job cuts but new boss, Tom Alexander, insists that the future could still be bright for the mobile phone company.

The cuts are going to be made in middle management, explained Alexander, who formerly owned Virgin Media, before floating it then selling it in 2006.

To counter the gloom, he added that 500 more customer-facing jobs will be created and the company is going to cut down on its reliance on Indian call-centres.

Alexander told journalists: "I believe there is a space we can fulfil in the market – we can differentiate ourselves around quality".

"We are now looking at reorientating the business in a common-sense way, that is not around technology or tariff but around the customer."

Orange will open 60 new shops over the course of the next two years, taking its total estate to nearly 400.

It is also setting up a new online store and changing its approach to customer services, he added.

And, as part of the rehaul, investment was promised into both Orange's 2G and 3G infrastructures including 450 new 2G base stations.

For 3G tech users, Orange promises to provide speeds of up to 7.2Mbps in 30 cities within 18 months.

And by 2009, it is planning on building a new super-fast network offering speeds of more than 14Mbps.

Alexander concluded: "I have a very clear ambition to make us the best-loved communications brand. If we can get the hearts and minds of customers, then the hard numbers will follow".