Sprint on Wednesday announced plans to create or bring back 5,000 jobs from overseas to the U.S., most likely at call centers.
The Overland Park-based wireless carrier made the announcement about the same time President-elect Donald Trump said that SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son had talked with him about the decision.
Many of the jobs will likely be at call centers, work the industry has commonly outsourced to India and the Philippines and other low-wage countries with mixed success.
Trump said the deal “was done through” Son, a Japanese billionaire with a large stake in the wireless carrier.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure did not make clear whether the shift to U.S. employment was the result of talks with Trump or action it expected from the next presidential administration.
In a news release, Sprint promised “a commitment to create or bring back to America 5,000 jobs.”
“The company anticipates these jobs will support a variety of functions across the organization including its Customer Care and Sales teams,” the release said.
The struggling wireless company hinted that it might contract the work out to other companies, saying it was beginning talks with “partners, states and cities to determine the right locations in the U.S. to create these jobs.”
Sprint said it aimed to create the new positions by the end of its next fiscal year.
“We are excited to work with President-elect Trump and his administration to do our part to drive economic growth and create jobs in the U.S.,” Claure said in the news release. “We believe it is critical for business and government to partner together to create more job opportunities in the U.S. and ensure prosperity for all Americans.”
In early December, Son met with the president-elect at New York’s Trump Tower and said that SoftBank would invest $50 billion in the U.S. with plans to create 50,000 jobs.
A Sprint spokeswoman told Politico the “5,000 jobs announced today are part of the 50,000 jobs that (Son) previously announced. It will be a combination of newly created jobs and bringing some existing jobs back to the U.S.”
In October, well before Trump and Son met, SoftBank and the Saudi government announced plans for a $100 billion fund to invest in technology companies around the world.
Son told The Wall Street Journal that the money he promised Trump would come from the huge fund.
Trump also said Wednesday that OneWeb, in which SoftBank also holds a large stake, would add 3,000 American jobs.
SoftBank owns about 80 percent of Sprint. Trump’s comments from Florida on Wednesday did not clarify whether the jobs were part of the previously announced agreement.
“We just had some very good news,” Trump told the transition press pool. “Because of what is happening and the spirit and the hope, I was just called by the head people at Sprint and they are going to be bringing 5,000 jobs back to the United States. They have taken them from other countries.”
Sprint said in a statement that the jobs would be created in various parts of the organization, including customer service and sales.
Roger Entner, an industry analyst, said the shift of call centers to U.S. soil will cost the carrier more money in return for better customer service.
“This will help customer satisfaction for Sprint,” he said. “But these things will cost. Wall Street won’t be that happy.”