Feeds

Sprint axes (at least) 2,000 (more) jobs

Extra call centers? Who needs 'em?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Sprint Nextell announced Monday that it will eliminate between 2,000 and 2,500 positions by the end of this year.

The third largest US wireless provider - which cut 8,000 workers earlier this year - took a different angle on the layoffs, however. According to their announcement, the more-important metric is that the company "will take actions in the fourth quarter of 2009 to reduce internal and external labor costs by at least $350 million."

Those savings may be welcome news to investors, but they're cold comfort to the thousands of employees whose holiday vacations will now be transformed into job-hunting slogs at a time when US unemployment has topped 10 per cent.

Sprint's announcement also notes that due to "increased customer satisfaction ... the company has been able to discontinue the use of 27 call centers as call volume has decreased in the wake of service improvements." With fewer customer calls, it seems, fewer call center minions are needed to field them.

There's another reason for that drop in customer-service demand, however. In the company's 10-Q form filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last Friday, Sprint Nextel notes that their wireless subscribers had dropped from from 39.7 million in the quarter ending March 31, 2008 to 33.6 million at the end of the most recent quarter. Fewer customers require fewer service calls.

But that filing puts a shiny gloss on that shrinkage, as well. "Net post-paid subscriber losses of 991,000 for the second quarter 2009 and 801,000 for the third quarter 2009," they report to the SEC, "reflect sequential improvements of approximately 20% per quarter."

Things may be bad, that is, but they're getting worse more slowly than before.

Add to Sprint's woes the fact that the company is investing heavily in WiMAX just as other wireless providers are lining up behind rival LTE - as one analyst says over on CNNMoney, "Sprint's stock has really become a highly leveraged bet on WiMax." An argument can be made that the latest 2,000 to 2,500 Sprinters may not be the last to be shown the door.

Maybe those unfortunate folks can find some solace in the fact that they have a head start in the job-hunting race. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.