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3G/HSPA

Sprint to Cut 4,000 Jobs

Armed with a gloomy outlook for 2008, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) today announced "actions to streamline operations" that include the culling of 4,000 jobs and the closure of 125 retail outlets.

The company noted that the measures are necessary as it anticipates "continued downward pressure on subscriber trends, revenues, and profitability in 2008." The planned streamlining should cut between $700 million and $800 million off Sprint's annual costs, the operator said.

The operator also announced a net loss of 202,000 pre-paid customers and 683,000 post-paid subscribers during the fourth quarter, continuing its trend of losing contracted wireless customers. (See Sprint Stumbles Again.)

The grim outlook and subscriber losses sent Sprint's share price down by $2.17, more than 19 percent, to $9.40 in morning trading.

Today's news follows a turbulent end to 2007 for Sprint, during which the wheels came off its WiMax partnership plans, its CEO quit, and its "Pivot" partnership with some top U.S. MSOs put the brakes on expansion. (See Sprint Nextel CEO Steps Down, Sprint-Clearwire: On Again in 2008?, Sprint Scuttles $5B SK Bid?, What Now for Sprint's WiMax?, Sprint Reconsiders WiMax Plans, Report: Sprint & Clearwire Split, Sprint Stumbles Again, and Sprint Halts 'Pivot' Expansion.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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