T-Mobile USA clarifies job cuts will be net 350, not 900

Latest moves show carrier plans to rehire more workers than it is displacing

T-Mobile USA clarified its latest restructuring plans and said the changes will result in a net 350 job losses, not 900 as reported earlier.

In a clarification emailed and posted on a blog late Wednesday.

The wireless carrier said it plans to hire 550 people for new positions in the Puget Sound area of Washington, offsetting the 900 reductions.

The job cuts were announced yesterday in addition to 1,900 job cuts announced in March, when the carrier said it would consolidate its call centers from 24 to 17. At that time, T-Mobile said it would rehire 1,400 workers at the remaining call centers while also hiring 1,000 new sales personnel.

Given the announced changes from Wednesday and in March, T-Mobile will displace many workers, but stands to add back 500 workers from the March decision, which is 150 more than the 350 job cuts mentioned in T-Mobile's clarification.

Overall, the company has about 36,000 workers, but has been losing subscribers every quarter for two years. It has 33.4 million customers as of the first quarter of 2012. Part of the subscriber losses have been blamed on T-Mobile's not having an iPhone to sell, the company said in its first quarter results, with customers leaving to buy an iPhone from the three other national wireless carriers.

T-Mobile also lost out on being acquired by AT&T last year, after federal regulators rejected the $39 billion buyout. T-Mobile USA is owned by Deutsche Telekom, which is reported to be discussing merging the unit with MetroPCS, a smaller U.S. carrier.

The restructuring is designed to improve efficiencies as the company invests in a $4 billion network modernization to launch fast LTE wireless technology in 2013, according to a statement T-Mobile issued in March.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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