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Sprint crafts overseas outsourcing plan

The phone carrier says it is on the verge of outsourcing work to an overseas IT company, a move that could cost hundreds of U.S.-based Sprint employees their jobs.

Sprint is close to outsourcing work to an overseas information technology company, a move that could cost hundreds of U.S.-based Sprint employees their jobs, the company confirmed Friday.

The Overland Park, Kan.-based phone service provider is evaluating bids from two such companies, a representative said. A final decision isn't expected for another 60 days. The cost-saving measure was first reported on Thursday by The Kansas City Star.

Sprint has already relocated customer service jobs overseas, but has yet to outsource IT positions abroad.

Technology companies in the United States are increasingly shifting part of their research efforts to emerging markets overseas, where there is an abundance of highly trained software and hardware engineers, and development costs are lower. But the migration of technology jobs abroad has angered U.S. employees and politicians.

A recent study by research firm Gartner states that one out of every 10 jobs at companies that provide IT services will move to emerging markets. It also forecast that one out of every 20 jobs within internal IT departments will shift overseas by the end of 2004.