Sprint offers some employees bonuses to stay on board: report

Sprint's network build continues despite merger talks. The carrier is adding Massive MIMO antenna radio systems to its existing 8T8R radios. (Sprint)

Employees of Sprint and T-Mobile probably have at least a year to wait before they learn whether their companies will merge. That's time that some of them could use to search for new jobs, if they fear that their positions will be eliminated once the merger is consummated. The risk of job loss is perhaps greater for Sprint employees, since T-Mobile is to be the surviving entity. Knowing this, Sprint is reportedly set to offer retention bonuses to some workers who choose to stay.

Retention bonuses are lump sum payments offered to employees at the end of a period of potential instability for a company. The bonus amount is typically set in advance and may be a specific amount or a percentage of the employee's salary.

According to the Kansas City Business Journal, select Sprint employees are being offered retention bonuses, and the carrier has told its workforce that the retention bonuses are not necessarily correlated to the value that Sprint places on each employee. 

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A promise of cash at the end of the merger negotiations does not equal the promise of a job if the companies merge, Sprint reportedly told its employees. This suggests that the bonuses may be used in an effort to retain certain managers who know that they may be seen as redundant if the merger happens. If the merger doesn't happen, those people would presumably get their bonuses and keep their jobs as well.

Until regulators issue a decision on the merger, Sprint is committed to "business as usual," according to the company's chief strategy officer, Kevin Crull. He said Sprint's planned network build, based on a future without T-Mobile, is proceeding, even as engineers refine the plan for the integrated New T-Mobile network. 

"Today we have a great LTE network, and with Sprint 5G, we'll deliver for our customers mobile data speeds that are up to 10 times faster, with significantly improved reliability and coverage," said Crull, speaking at 5G North America. 

Sprint plans to launch 5G in the first half of next year, and yesterday the carrier added three new cities to the list of places that will get its 5G service in 2019. The new cities are New York, Phoenix and Kansas City. Sprint's previously announced 5G cities are Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.