T-Mobile held their earnings call yesterday following their Q1 2017 financials, and CEO John Legere made a point to talk about how Verizon's network couldn't handle unlimited data. Stating that since their competitor launched unlimited data in the first quarter, Verizon's network speeds have decreased about 14% making the network even slower. Also noting that Fran Shammo, who recently stepped down and retired from the CEO position at Verizon, knew that his network couldn't handle unlimited data and kept pushing the fact that their customers didn't want it.
Legere noted that Verizon's network is now slower than AT&T's, and also took some time to tout that T-Mobile's network has gotten 10% faster. For the most part, this is due to the fact that Verizon has more users on 4G LTE now and doing more things like streaming video and music, which does take up a fair amount of bandwidth on their network. So it makes sense that data speeds have gone down, but the real question here is what will Verizon do to improve their network. T-Mobile has had unlimited data for years and years (actually they never got rid of it), so their network has been built around unlimited data and can handle the large amount of video streams on their network at one time.
Verizon will obviously dispute the fact that their network has gotten slower, and state that they still offer the biggest network in the US, which is starting to be less of a selling point for customers these days. Verizon said in their quarterly earnings last week that they were on pace to lose around 400,000 customers in the quarter, before they announced Verizon Unlimited. Their Unlimited plan helped keep users on their network, and bring in new customers to help stop the bleeding. So it's working to keep customers on their network, but they will need to do something about the capacity of their network soon, or they may still end up losing big numbers in the coming quarters. Now Legere did not mention where he got these speed numbers from, so we may have to wait for the next network tests to come out from Nielsen, RootMetrics, Ookla and such.