According to sources quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Sprint is wrapping up an agreement that will outsource the management of its network to Ericsson. Under the terms of that pact, it will transfer 5,000 to 7,000 employees and potentially layoff others. It is currently being speculated that the overwrought communications company might also have to pay Ericsson as much as $2 billion over the duration of years for the upkeep costs on the thousands of Sprintís cell sites.

Like so many other large companies, Sprint is unsurprisingly attempting to cut costs with the drastic changes. The quoted sources foresee the deal slashing their network costs by nearly 20%. Although Sprint is the third-largest wireless operator in the US, it has been struggling to maintain level competition with market leaders AT&T and Verizon.

The company is expected to post its quarterly earnings this morning, which will hopefully bring the company a bit of relief after an ailing fourth quarter last year. The highlight of the report is expected to be Boost Mobileís prepaid wireless service, which is owned by Sprint. All eyes are now on the Pre, which is expected to make a presence at some point in the coming month or two.