Report: AT&T Wireless To Lay Off 1,800 IT Staff


AT&T Wireless is expected to cut its IT employee ranks nearly in half by the end of next year.

The wireless carrier plans to lay off 1,800 of the company's 3,800 IT staff and contractors, according to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which cited announcements made to employees.

The layoffs are expected to begin in August or September. The wireless carrier has an overall workforce of 33,000.

In January, AT&T Wireless reported a fourth-quarter loss of $136 million, or 5 cents per share, on sales of $4.05 billion, compared with a loss of $1.23 billion, or 48 cents per share, on sales of $3.53 billion for the year-ago quarter.

For all of 2002, AT&T Wireless' loss more than doubled to $2.3 billion, or 87 cents a share, from $963 million, or 38 cents a share, in 2001. Revenue was $15.6 billion, up 15 percent from $13.6 billion in 2001.

AT&T Wireless has been focusing on cost-cutting measures for some time. The wireless carrier joined forces with Sprint in January to build wireless towers. The collaboration is expected to reduce capital expenses and speed up development for both companies.

AT&T Wireless' plan is to identify overlapping areas and decide which company builds and maintains the tower, the company said.

Construction is expected to begin this quarter. Financial details were not disclosed.