Sprint's strange deal with Ericsson

It may seem like an odd decision: Sprint (S) will outsource much of its network maintenance to Ericsson (ERIC). The deal is worth almost $5 billion to Ericsson and will stretch over seven years.

The strange part of the transaction is that, according to the Financial Times, "Under the deal's terms about 6,000 Sprint employees will be transferred to Ericsson during the third quarter." Sprint may not be doing terribly well by signing the contract if it is trading worker costs for $5 billion. Keeping the workers may be less expensive.