updated 09:55 am EST, Fri January 18, 2008
Sprint Slashes 4000 Jobs
Sprint will cut about 4,000 jobs from its workforce and close 125 of its dedicated retail stores, the cellular carrier announced today. The move is expected to save the company between $700 million and $800 million a year and reflects a continued shrinking of the company's subscriber base, which gained about 500,000 subscribers in the most recent quarter but promptly lost 885,000 at the same time.
Most of the decline is attributed to network troubles and a perceived reputation for poor customer service that has cost the company valuable monthly subscription customers. The subprime mortgage crisis in the US has also forced some subscribers to switch to lower-cost prepaid phone service, Sprint says.
The provider is believed to have given up its subscribers to larger incumbent carriers such as AT&T and Verizon, both of which have used a combination of higher expectations for customer service as well as greater clout with devices and network build-outs to attract subscribers. Both are believed to be ahead of Sprint in developing their respective 3.5G Internet networks.
AT&T is currently the largest carrier in the US and is believed to have been helped significantly by the iPhone, which sold 4 million units in 2007 that were largely destined for long-term subscriptions with the American network. The company has not published recent statistics indicating how many of its new iPhone customers were conversions from other carriers versus existing subscribers opting for the new device.