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Sprint to Lay Off Several Thousand: WSJ

Wireless carrier Sprint Nextel plans to lay off several thousand employees, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Sprint
Sprint

Citing people familiar with the matter, the report said that the scale of job cuts wasn't clear, but were expected to be in the range of a few thousand.

Company spokesman James Fisher declined comment on the report.

Sprint , the No. 3 U.S. mobile service, has been losing ground to rivals such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless, owned by Verizon Communications, and Vodafone as it has struggled with network and customer service issues.

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Sprint's new chief executive, Daniel Hesse, who took over the job in December, is also considering a plan to consolidate Sprint's headquarters in Kansas, the Journal said.

In January 2007, Sprint announced plans to reduce its full-time head count by about 5,000 people. Fisher said that these layoffs had been completed and that the company now has just under 60,000 employees.

In the third quarter, Sprint lost high-value bill-paying mobile customers and said it was also hurt by the credit squeeze for subprime mortgage borrowers, who often buy prepaid mobile services that Sprint offers.

Some analysts say they expect the company to report continued customer losses for the fourth quarter.

Sprint has also been criticized for its plan to spend $5 billion on a building a new high-speed wireless network based on WiMax, an emerging technology.

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