Sprint's Promise To Add 5,000 U.S. Jobs Could Invigorate Its Channel Program

Wireless provider Sprint announced last year that it would be creating or bringing 5,000 jobs back on U.S. soil by the end of 2017.

Sprint's CEO Marcelo Claure took to Twitter at the end of December to announce the provider's plans to expand U.S.-based employment, calling the new jobs: "great news for the country." President-elect Donald Trump also weighed in on the news, taking the announcement as proof that he would fulfill his campaign promise to encourage corporations to focus on U.S.-based job creation.

The Overland Park, Kan.-based provider is majority-owned by Tokyo-based telecommunications and Internet corporation SoftBank Group. The new jobs are a part of a broader investment by SoftBank, and Sprint said that the new or returning jobs would support a "variety of functions" across the company, including bolstering its customer care and sales teams.

[Related: Partners: Sprint, T-Mobile Could Merge Under A Republican Administration]

Sponsored post

A year ago, Sprint eliminated 2,500 jobs within its U.S.-based call centers and at its headquarters in Overland Park. Since 2013, Sprint has reduced its U.S.-based labor force by approximately 21 percent – eliminating about 8,000 positions – to lean the company and return to profitability. Sprint has since outsourced some of that work to contractors located in overseas call centers. The company employs about 30,000 today.

Rob Chamberlin, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Sprint partner True Wireless, a solution provider that offers voice and data solutions to enterprise customers, said that a byproduct of Sprint reducing its headcount internally has made the provider rely more on its partners.

"When [Sprint] downsized on the sales side, they became more channel-centric out of necessity, and I think that will continue," he said. "We've noticed that their direct teams have been quite interested in partnering more recently."

When asked whether the new jobs will include positions within its indirect sales organization, a spokesperson for Sprint told CRN that the 5,000 jobs could come from "any number of functions across the company, but it’s likely that most of them will be customer care or sales jobs, [such as] retail employees."

While the newly-announced domestic positions might not necessarily mean additional resources for Sprint's channel partner community, customer care should be improved across the board regardless, Chamberlin added.

"Sprint is relevant again. You really couldn't say that a year ago," he said.

Claure, who joined Sprint in 2014, said that the provider is looking forward to working with President-elect Trump's Administration to help drive economic growth and create jobs in the U.S.

"We believe it is critical for business and government to partner together to create more job opportunities in the U.S. and ensure prosperity for all Americans," Claure said in a statement.

While the new positions won't entirely make up for all the jobs that have been eliminated for the past four years, the new positions will be available for both new employees and workers at Sprint's contractors, the provider said.

During the 2017 Citi Internet, Media, and Telecom conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, rival wireless carrier T-Mobile also responded to questions around its own domestic employee base, and referenced the employment-related headlines coming from its competition.

Braxton Carter, T-Mobile's CFO, pointed to T-Mobile's "massive" U.S.-based staff. "We are creating jobs here in the U.S., at a rapidly increasing rate … and we have not been in layoff mode. I think we are very well-positioned for what's important to this country, which is job creation," Carter said.