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Verizon to cut 8,000 (more) jobs

Less profits, more smartphones

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Verizon on Monday released news of job cuts, income slippage, and future smartphone plans.

A Verizon spokesperson told The Reg that the US's largest wireless service provider is planning to cut 8,000 employees and contractors during the remainder of this year, primarily in its landline division, as it switches its emphasis to more-profitable areas of its business.

Despite already cutting 8,000 landline jobs during the past year, Verizon ended the quarter with a higher number of total jobs than during the same period last year - 235,000, up from 229,000 - due to efforts to beef up its wireless division.

But said beefing won't continue, at least in the near term. Chief operating officer Denny Strigl is reported to have said: "We probably will not have large-scale hiring until we're out of the recession."

And when that will be, of course, is anyone's guess.

Compared with the same quarter last year, Verizon's net income sank 21 per cent, from $1.88bn in 2008 to $1.48bn in 2009. Although overall wireless revenue grew from $12.12bn to $15.48bn year-on-year, landline revenue sank from $12.11bn to $11.49bn.

The news wasn't all bad for Verizon's landline service, however. The company's fiber-optic consumer-level FiOS broadband subscribers saw a year-on-year jump of 56.1 per cent, adding 303,000 new customers during the quarter. FiOS customers now total 3.1 million.

That growth was spurred by accelerated adoption of FiOS TV. Verizon signed up 300,000 new FiOS TV customers during the quarter, an 82.1 year-on-year jump to a total of 2.5 million customers.

During the company's financial-results conference call with reporters and analysts, Strigl confirmed that Verizon would add the Palm Pre to its offerings early next year, as soon at that smartphone's exclusivity contract with Sprint expires.

Strigl also said that Verizon will offer a "refreshed" BlackBerry Storm later this year, a model that Research in Motion's chief executive, Jim Balsillie, confirmed in May was on the way.

Android fans won't be left out, either. Strigl said that an Android smartphone is also "on our roadmap," and that "you can expect to see a steady stream of attractive devices coming from Verizon Wireless." ®

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