The already battered telecommunications industry took another big hit today as Cingular Wireless announced plans to eliminate up to 3,000 jobs.

Cingular, which is a joint venture of SBC Communications and BellSouth, said most of the layoffs and reductions would be achieved through “elimination of temporary positions and normal attrition of regular employees.”

The company also said it is reorganizing its sales force from a geographic focus to channel emphasis, such as business-to-business.

The cost of the workforce changes could be as high as $70 million, Cingular said.

Published reports recently have said Cingular is in potential merger talks with Voicestream.