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T-Mobile cuts 900 jobs in restructuring

Carrier earlier announced plans to close some call centers

T-Mobile USA will cut 900 jobs in a restructuring on top of a 1,900-job reduction at its call centers that was announced in March, the carrier confirmed Wednesday.

T-Mobile, now with about 36,000 employees, has faced more than two years of subscriber losses. Last year the wireless carrier lost out on a $39 billion deal to be taken over by AT&T which was rejected by federal regulators.

In its first quarter results announced May 9, T-Mobile said it lost 510,000 contract customers. It now serves 33.4 million customers.

Not having the iPhone 4S to sell, compared to the other three major U.S. carriers, also hurt T-Mobile and lead to more contract ndeactivations, the company said in its first quarter results.

A T-Mobile spokeswoman, in an email, said that the 900 job cuts were the result of a "restructuring of key functions and departments across the company, including the elimination of some positions and outsourcing of others."

The statement added: "While difficult choices had to be made, restructuring our organization will help us better respond to market and customer demands and bring opportunity for continued career development and growth for many of our employees."

In March, T-Mobile announced 1,900 job cuts that were part of a plan to consolidate call centers from 24 to 17 locations. At the time, T-Mobile said it expected to hire back 1,400 workers at the remaining call centers, and encouraged some who lost their jobs to transfer to the remaining centers.

The carrier said the call center consolidation and restructuring in other parts of the business will make T-Mobile more efficient to be able to "fuel investments that further strengthen T-Mobile's competitiveness" and listed some of the strategic investments as a $4 billion network modernization to launch LTE in 2013 and to hire 1,000 new sales personnel.

Deutsche Telekom, which owns T-Mobile USA, has reportedly tried to merge with a smaller carrier, MetroPCS, although neither company would comment.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is [email protected].

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

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