T-Mobile US' John Legere On His Competition

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The industry is used to T-Mobile US' Chief Executive, John Legere, trash talking about his three main competitors in the US cellular market. In a recent interview with Business Insider, Legere has not been pulling any punches when discussing AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless. Legere is particularly outspoken and has been critical of all three other national carriers, but especially of AT&T and Verizon Wireless, whom he has called "dumb and dumber" for some time now.

His comments about Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo are interesting, especially given how Verizon bought AOL last year. However, he believes that there is a "leadership shift" taking place with Verizon with a small number of executives trying to succeed Lowell McAdam as the Chief Executive. Legere had already commented on the potential acquisition of Yahoo by Verizon Wireless, remarking that it would be further evidence of the company taking their focus away from providing customers with a cellular service. He observed that the recent news of the Yahoo hack – which could have seen up to a billion users affected – has Verizon wanting a $1 billion discount on the $4.8 billion acquisition deal struck up. However, Legere highlighted that Yahoo are a declining business and alluded that Verizon would need to work hard to ensure the asset does not further depreciate. Ultimately, Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo was for the customer information and advertising, but the business were still trying to be a wireless carrier.

Legere was equally scathing of AT&T: "They refer to customers as units of acquisition. They just don't get it." He went on to explain that AT&T have a content and cable side of their business together with their wireless service but that the business bundles these together for customers rather than puts them together: in his opinion, AT&T have good products that are not managed correctly, and highlighted that almost half of customers migrating to T-Mobile US are from AT&T. Sprint did not escape his attention; here, Legere remarked that America's fourth largest national carrier, for T-Mobile US has recently overtaken them, is struggling on a financial perspective. "The financials, it's pretty much walk around the house and use anything that's not nailed down to raise money so we can go to the next quarter – and let's show some postpaid nets, even if we have to push them over from our prepaid side." Legere does like Sprint's current marketing and commercials with regard to comparing Sprint's network with T-Mobile, but explained that T-Mobile US does not compete with Sprint; instead he leaves that to MetroPCS.

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Of course, Legere's criticism of his competition is to be expected. There appears to be little love lost between T-Mobile US and AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless. T-Mobile has managed to shake up the US cellular business by putting customers first, even to the chagrin of investment professionals. Although he would not commit to a timeframe, Legere explained that he is happy with T-Mobile US' growth and that he expects the business to be the largest wireless network at some point in the future. As a business, America's Uncarrier, T-Mobile US, has spent a lot of time in the news since 2013 and it does not look set to change any time soon.