Sprint Nextel is instituting a voluntary separation package for its employees, giving them until Dec. 3 to leave the company voluntarily.
The beleagured carrier, which lost 1.3 million net subscribers in the third quarter, has not announced any layoffs as part of the plan.
"What is happening is Sprint is offering a personal decision for employees to take advantage of a voluntary separation package," said Lisa Zimmerman-Mott, a Sprint spokeswoman. Zimmerman-Mott said the offer was made to most employees that don't have direct access to customers.
"No one is being forced to do anything," she said. "There are no forced reductions. There are no layoffs in store. It's a matter of employees having the option to exercise discretion. No targets have been announced."
Separately, SK Telecom announced that it was dropping plans to form a business tie-up with Sprint because of worsening economic conditions, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.
The South Korean telecom giant had been in talks with Sprint over a possible alliance since late 2007.
-see this article on the voluntary separation package
-see this post of the VSP
-see this article on the SK Telecom move
Sprint loses 1.3M net subs, base drops to 50.5M
Sprint customers continue to flee, base drops to 51.9M