Sprint Nextel is set to bring back approximately 240 employees that had previously been moved to Ericsson as part of a network reorganization plan. A Sprint Nextel spokeswoman said the transfer should be complete by the end of July.
The Kansas City Star reported that 150 of the transferred positions will be in the Kansas City area where Sprint Nextel currently employs about 7,000 people at and around its headquarters.
“Because of the significant change in requirements, Sprint and Ericsson partnered to review the original business model, and, together, determined that selected network planning and engineering functions, currently with Ericsson, should be transferred back to Sprint,” Sprint Nextel spokeswoman Kelly Schlageter noted in a statement. “As a result, approximately 240 Ericsson employees are expected to transfer to Sprint at the end of July 2012.
Sprint Nextel had originally transferred approximately 6,000 employees to Ericsson in 2009 as part of a 7-year, $5 billion network management agreement signed between the two companies. The deal was the first of its kind for a major U.S.-based operator. Sprint Nextel subsidiary Clearwire followed with a similar deal in early 2011, that included the transfer of approximately 700 employees.
Sprint Nextel in late 2010 tapped Ericsson, along with Samsung and Alcatel-Lucent, to head up the carrier’s Network Vision initiative that will see Sprint Nextel update virtually all of its cell sites and eventually lead to the launch of LTE services. Sprint Nextel said it was still on track to launch LTE services in six markets by mid-year, which some calendar watchers would note is about five days from now. Reports have indicated that the network is currently available in select markets and accessible to consumers with LTE-enabled devices.
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