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Sprint to cut 1,100 workers

Citing increased competition in the long-distance market, the company says it will begin layoffs in July.

Citing an internal effort to address increasing competition in the long-distance market, Sprint reported on Wednesday that it will lay off roughly 1,100 workers during the next several months.

The Overland Park, Kan.-based carrier said it would inform affected workers of their status by mid-July.

The company indicated that it would trim up to 850 employees from the Sprint Business Solutions division, along with an additional 250 people currently fulfilling roles supporting the group, such as information technology workers. The Business Solutions division handles sales to companies, as opposed to consumers.

Sprint representatives said nearly half of the individuals affected by the layoffs work in the company's Kansas City area headquarters. In 2003, Sprint employed some 65,000 individuals.

Howard Janzen, president of the Business Solutions unit, says the company has seen growth in sales of its integrated packages of services but continues to feel a pinch from ongoing long-distance price wars. Janzen also said Sprint would make additional changes to the business unit in order to cut costs and improve customer service.

The company said it still expects to hit its annual earnings projection of between 70 cents per share and 75 cents per share. The company indicated that it expects to make up for any revenue lost because of the business unit layoffs through growth in its wireless customer base.

Sprint is scheduled to release second-quarter earnings data on July 22.