Who’s the most outspoken CEO in the wireless industry? That’d be T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere. Sometimes, I don’t think he thinks about what he says before he says them. But that’s what makes his press events so much fun. T-Mobile’s CEO has just published a blog post on their site with his predictions for the industry in 2015, and they are pretty bold. Also, as expected it does paint T-Mobile as the good guy. But we kinda figured it would already.
Legere is stating that about 41% of the wireless customers in the US are already without a contract and without subsidies, and he expects that to jump to about 66% or two thirds. Which isn’t really a huge jump from what it is right now, but with AT&T Next, Verizon Edge and Sprint Easy Pay, it might surpass that number. And Legere wants to take credit for that movement with their no contract stuff they started last year.
A movement that Legere doesn’t think will get traction is overages. The other three carriers make a ton of money on overages, and the big example that John Legere is using is the global roaming. I recently looked at the prices for data from AT&T and Verizon for going to Beijing last week, and even though T-Mobile gives you unlimited 2G Speeds in other countries, sometimes 2G isn’t enough. But their High-Speed plans are still better then the competition. For the price of 500MB on T-Mobile roaming, you can get about 80-100MB from the competition.
Next up is coverage. Yes, T-Mobile does have some mediocre coverage in a lot of the US. But the silver lining is that T-Mobile has been working on that. I can say for a fact that coverage at home for me on T-Mobile was terrible about a year ago, now it’s almost perfect. And with the addition of the 700MHz spectrum, it’s only going to get better. Legere says that he loves it when people tell him about their coverage gaps compared to AT&T and Verizon, and that’s because they are comparing T-Mobile to the duopoly. They also use it to find out where they need to improve coverage, which I think is key here.
Now this is the part where I take some of Legere’s quotes from his post where he bashes his competition. Let’s start with AT&T “AT&T will find new ways to cause their customers pain”. This might be true, but for now, AT&T’s coverage is way better. So what about Sprint? “Sprint will continue throwing out campaigns, offers and promotions – anything to see if it sticks.” And the big one, Verizon, “Verizon will keep trying to baffle American wireless customers with BS promos”. Everything Legere has said here is true. Now that T-Mobile is really becoming a force to be reckoned with, Verizon and AT&T are having to actually compete, something they haven’t had to do in a while.
Here’s Legere’s “One More Thing”. He says that T-Mobile will become the number 3 largest carrier in the US. They are very close to being number 3 already. And there’s a big chance that they could do it after the fourth quarter of 2014 is over with, which we’ll find out in January.