Much anticipated changes to the Sprint payroll are beginning their roll out according to SEC filings from the struggling cellular company. Sprint will begin layoffs for employees in both management and non-management positions in an effort to cut costs and stay competitive with their fellow carriers. Sprint is currently the 3rd largest carrier in the country behind AT&T and Verizon Wireless in terms of subscribers. These cuts, which began at the end of September and are expected to run until the end of October, will cost the cellular company over $160 million in severance pay and other related costs.
These Spring layoffs were not completely unexpected
After Marcelo Claure was brought on as CEO and vowed to turn the struggling company around, mainly through reducing operating costs. While we know via statements from Claure that these jobs cuts are absolutely going to be happening, there is no word yet on exactly how many jobs will be cut and what cities might be affected the most. What little we do know is that these job cuts will be centered on employees in network, IT, and technology. These jobs were all part of Sprints Network Vision plan that was meant to be completed by mid 2014. These estimates were already running later than they had previously anticipated, and with the roll out of some 38,000 cell cites and expansion of the Sprint network nearing completion, the related jobs can be let go. It is likely that the bulk of the fat will be trimmed from this sector. Marcelo Claure gave his promise to shareholders that he would stop the bleeding that was constant year-to-year subscriber losses by having “the lowest cost of service in order to offer the best value to the customers.”
Sprint rolled out a new business share plan this week
In an effort to follow through on this promise while staying competitive, under the new “Sprint Business Share Plans,” companies with up to 50 lines will have the option to share as much as 200 gigabytes of data without being required to buy separate data plans for each device. AT&T already offers a similar plan, though Sprint’s plan for 20GB of data on up to 10 lines starts at $90 per month. Larger plans for as many as 50 lines and 200GB of shared data would run $675 per month. Sprint is also jumping on the bandwagon of “jump ship incentives.” Through October 31st, Sprint is offering a $150 credit for businesses that port a line from another carrier. Staying competitive with cellular plan rates is a neck and neck game. At the end of September AT&T announced a promotional deal where new lines could get double the data (i.e 4 Gigabytes a month for the price of 2 etc). Whether Sprint can stay truly competitive without sacrificing the quality of their service remains to be seen. With their new network expansion nearing completion, the hope is that Sprint stays in the game with fellow CDMA provider Verizon Wireless, and helps force AT&T to continue offering competitive pricing.