KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Telecommunications giant Sprint Corp. announced Wednesday it will cut an additional 2,100 jobs during the next year _ about 2.8 percent of its work force _ as it tries to reorganize and return to profitability.
Sprint, the nation's third largest long-distance provider and fourth-largest wireless provider, has laid off more than 13,000 employees in the last year as the company tries to cut costs to remain competitive in a depressed market.
The company, based in Overland Park, Kan., said Wednesday it will combine network, information technology and billing operations for several of its divisions as a way to save up to $145 million a year.
``The consolidations we are announcing today are a necessary step if we are to capitalize on our strength, which is the ability to offer a complete portfolio of wireline and wireless voice, data and Internet services under a single brand at a competitive price,'' said William T. Esrey, Sprint's chairman and chief executive.
The company said the goal of the reorganization will be to create one division to handle all local, long-distance, Internet and wireless network needs for its customers.
Sprint now has separate divisions for local telephone, wireless and other services.
Last month, Sprint PCS, the company's wireless division, laid off about 1,600 workers, or 6 percent of the division's work force. PCS also released about 500 contractors.
After the additional cuts announced Wednesday, Sprint will employee about 72,000 people worldwide, spokesman Bill White said.