Local T-Mobile operation unaffected by layoffs

Written by  //  March 23, 2012  //  Telecommunications/Technology  //  No comments

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T-Mobile Puerto Rico General Manager Jorge Martel (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

T-Mobile USA Inc. announced Thursday plans to close seven call center facilities nationwide, resulting in the elimination of 1,900 jobs by summer. However, the cutbacks will not have any local effects, Jorge Martel, general manager of the wireless carrier’s local operations said.

“Puerto Rico will not be affected by the recent news. The Puerto Rico operation is financially and operationally robust, we continue expanding our 4G network throughout the island and will soon be deploying an LTE [Long-Term Evolution] network,” he said in a statement issued late in the day.

His remarks respond to the announcement by T-Mobile President Philipp Humm of the decision to consolidate the carrier’s call center operations from 24 to 17 facilities by the end of June.

Call centers scheduled for closure are located in: Allentown, Penn.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Frisco and Brownsville, Tex.; Lenexa, Kan.; Thornton, Col. and Redmond, Ore.

“Concentrating call centers is an important step to achieve competitive cost structures to successfully compete as challenger and value player in the wireless market,” he said. “These are not easy steps to take, but they are necessary to realize efficiency to invest for growth.”

T-Mobile employs approximately 3,300 people at the seven affected facilities. However, the company will begin hiring immediately at the remaining 17 call centers and expects to fill as many as 1,400 positions to continue to meet customer needs. Employees who transfer will be offered relocation assistance; those choosing not to will be offered transition packages including severance pay and outplacement support, the carrier said.

Aside from closing down customer service centers, T-Mobile will be “optimizing operations in other parts of the business” during the second quarter of this year.

It will use the savings stemming from the streamlining to “fuel investments that further strengthen T-Mobile’s competitiveness in the marketplace.”

Some of those investments, which T-Mobile announced last month, include $4 billion modernization of its network and the planned LTE launch in 2013, plans to revitalize the T-Mobile brand, and an investment in 1,000 new business sales positions.

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