T-Mobile Closing Seven Call Centers, Cutting 1,900 Jobs

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-03-22 Print this article Print

The U.S.' No. 4 mobile telecom provider said that it must reorganize its call center functions in order to help control costs -- and eventually will rehire 1,400 people.

T-Mobile revealed March 22 that it is forced to close seven of its 24 call centers and eliminate 1,900 staff positions. The move impacts 3,300 people, a majority of whom share jobs.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based telecommunications provider, which parent company Deutsche Telekom AG tried but failed to sell to AT&T for $39 billion in 2011, said in a statement to the media that it must consolidate its call center functions in order to help control costs.

"Concentrating call centers is an important step to achieve competitive cost structures to successfully compete as a challenger and value player in the wireless market," CEO and President Philipp Humm said in statement to the press. "These are not easy steps to take, but they are necessary to realize efficiency in order to invest for growth."

Call centers to be shuttered are located in Allentown, Pa.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Frisco, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kansas; Thornton, Colo.; and Redmond, Ore.

Other Staff Will Be Hired Later

There is a silver lining of sorts regarding the layoffs; T-Mobile also said that at a future date it will be hiring 1,400 people to work in its other 17 call centers. This indicates more of a reorganization of call center functions than simply cutting back on the number of personnel, although the company will have shed 1,900 employees when the consolidation is complete.

Despite the call center closures, T-Mobile has plans to invest in other sections of the company. Humm said T-Mobile "will restructure and optimize operations in other parts of the business, which will take place by the end of second quarter of 2012."

Those efforts will include a $4 billion modernization of its network, the planned launch of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology in 2013 and an investment in 1,000 new sales positions.

T-Mobile is the smallest of the four nationwide carriers in the United States, which also include AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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