David Vye, MWJ Editor
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David Vye is responsible for Microwave Journal's editorial content, article review and special industry reporting. Prior to joining the Journal, Mr. Vye was a product-marketing manager with Ansoft Corporation, responsible for high frequency circuit/system design tools and technical marketing communications. He previously worked for Raytheon Research Division and Advanced Device Center as a Sr. Design Engineer, responsible for PHEMT, HBT and MESFET characterization and modeling as well as MMIC design and test. David also worked at M/A-COM's Advanced Semiconductor Operations developing automated test systems and active device modeling methods for GaAs FETs. He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, with a concentration in microwave engineering.

Sprint continues to struggle

January 28, 2009
Sprint announced plans to eliminate 8,000 positions by the end of the current quarter--in an effort to trim $1.2 billion in internal and external labor costs. The job cuts were intended to make its cost structure more competitive in the industry and keep the company fiscally secure in the current economic downturn.

While many companies are trying to cut costs during the recession, wireless is one of the few areas where most operators don’t appear to be struggling. Sprint has the double misfortune of facing not only a bad economic climate but the task of simultaneously trying to rebuild its reputation and business among customers, said Jeff Kagan, an independent wireless analyst. “We have seen wireless competitors like Verizon and AT&T continue to do pretty well during this weak economy, but Sprint has continued to lose customers and struggle.”

In the third quarter, Sprint reported net customer losses of 1.3 million, adding to the tally of customers fleeing for other operators. Sprint’s customer base has shrunk 6.3% in the last year, while the industry overall has grown 7%. Meanwhile Sprint’s operational costs have remained fixed as it maintains a network, sales and customer care operation intended to support a much larger customer base.

The biggest concern for Sprint right now, Moffett added, must be the viability of its Nextel iDEN network, which Sprint recently tried to revive. If Sprint can’t reverse customer losses on the iDEN network, it could move from being a cash-generating network to a cash-losing one, compounding Sprint’s problems. “If the volumes on the iDEN network are no longer sufficient to support Nextel, then the hole Sprint is in will be much deeper than we thought.”, said Craig Moffett, senior analyst with Bernstein Research.

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