The smallest of the nation’s four major wireless carriers, Deutche Telekom’s (PINK:DTEGY) T-Mobile, announced this week that it will close 7 of its 24 call centers and eliminate 1,900 jobs.
T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm said the affected call centers are in Allentown, Pa.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Frisco and Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kan.; Thornton, Colo.; and Redmond, Ore. Employees at those call centers will have the option of applying for jobs at the carrier’s17 remaining call centers, where about 1,400 jobs are being added. The consolidation is expected to take place by the end of June.
The cuts are pegged to at least two factors: the cost of ramping up T-Mobile’s network to LTE, the high-speed wireless technology that also is being deployed by Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T), and Sprint (NYSE:S), and shrinking subscriber numbers, which, as The Verge notes, is suggested in Humm’s March 22 letter to employees.
“Looking ahead, we will also be restructuring other parts of the company,” Humm wrote, adding later on, “We must address our business realities so we can focus on getting T-Mobile back to growth.”
T-Mobile’s acquired extra wireless spectrum and about $3 billion in cash after its proposed merger with AT&T fell apart in December. But it also lost about 1.65 million contract subscribers last year, a decline attributed in part to the fact that the company is the only one of the four major carriers that does not sell Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone.
The carrier is expected to spend about $4 billion over two years to convert its current 4G network from the CDMA-HSPA standard to LTE, the technology that most phone makers will accommodate in the coming months.