RealTime IT News

Job Cuts Coming at Cingular

Cingular Wireless will cut about 7,000 jobs, a little more than 10 percent of its workforce, as it integrates its $41 billion acquisition of AT&T Wireless.

CEO Stan Sigman disclosed the cost-cutting blueprint in an interview with the Associated Press today. Previously, Cingular officials have declined to comment on the impact of the merger on its 68,000 employees.

The positions will likely be concentrated in administrative departments, rather than the customer service organizations, Sigman told AP. It's unclear what percentage of the cuts will hit former AT&T Wireless employees.

The cuts won't begin until January and may be spread over more than a year. Sigman added that he hoped to rehire workers as the company grew.

Clay Owen, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Cingular, confirmed the cuts to internetnews.com, but declined to offer additional details.

Cingular is a joint venture between SBC Communications and BellSouth . The carrier emerged as the winner in the AT&T Wireless sweepstakes in February, after outbidding Vodafone in an auction.

The merger gives Cingular 46 million subscribers, vaulting it ahead of Verizon Wireless. But the two carriers are expected to battle for customers in the coming months.