Sprint is in talks to outsource the network operations of its wireless network to Ericsson of Sweden. If a deal happens, Sprint will transfer several thousands of its employees over to Ericsson. Sprint is looking at the deal as a way to cut costs and place more focus on product development and marketing. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the deal is in advanced phases, but is not necessarily imminent. Sprint may walk away once the final terms are determined.
Network outsourcing is a trend which has more momentum outside of the U.S. Interestingly enough though, Sprint’s wireline spin off, EMBARQ (soon to be CenturyTel), announced a similar initiative, outsourcing their voice network operations center (NOC) duties to Ericsson competitor, Nokia Siemens Network. The outsourcing trend is expected to continue as service providers look to cut costs and focus on more pressing competitive tasks and equipment vendors look to expand revenue opportunities beyond hardware and software sales.