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Sprint slashes 2,500 jobs to cut costs

[BENGALURU] Sprint Corp has axed at least 2,500 jobs across six customer care centres and its Kansas headquarters as part of its plan to cut US$2.5 billion in costs, a company spokeswoman said on Monday.

The job cuts, mostly in customer service, also include 574 positions at Sprint's headquarters at Overland Park, Kansas, Sprint spokeswoman Michelle Boyd said.

Sprint, the fourth-largest US wireless carrier, has shut down call centers in Virginia, New Mexico, Tennessee and Texas and cut back jobs at its Colorado and Overland Park call centers, Ms Boyd added.

The telecom company, which has kick started a turnaround plan, said last year it is looking at areas such as labour costs, network expenses, information technology and administrative expenses to reduce costs to the tune of US$2.5 billion.

Investors have been concerned that the company, which is majority-owned by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp, is burning cash at an alarming rate to acquire users and upgrade its network.

Sprint notified employees last week about the job cuts and severance benefits through email, Ms Boyd said.

As of Jan 1, Sprint's workforce totaled 33,000 employees. The company has said that it planned to give layoff notices to employees before Jan 30 as its severance package would be reduced after that date.

Sprint subscribers are increasingly using the Sprint Zone app and going online for their customer care needs and the jobs cuts were made in response to that trend, Ms Boyd said.

Sprint said in November 2014 that it would fire 2,000 employees. In October 2014, the company launched a previous round of layoffs and shed about 1,700 jobs.

Boyd declined to comment on whether the company plans to slash more jobs in coming weeks.

The Kansas City Star first reported news of the job cuts on Monday.

Shares in Sprint, which have fallen about 21 per cent this year, were down about 10 per cent at US$2.59 in afternoon trading.