T-Mobile CEO John Legere said Thursday the Bellevue, Washington based company is still the only wireless carrier in the country that's on "the fast-track" for having a "real" 5G network deployed on a national level by 2020. As part of a lengthy recap of the firm's achievements in 2017, the 59-year-old deemed T-Mobile's acquisition of 600MHz spectrum "underreported," adding that the new holdings are not only already allowing the mobile service provider to improve its LTE coverage but that a portion of them will also serve as a backbone of its 5G network scheduled to start rolling out in 2019 and be deployed nationally in 2020.
As is usually the case, the entrepreneur's recap didn't fail to criticize and make fun of his competitors, with Legere once again referring to Verizon and AT&T as "dumb and dumber," stating that the former's average download speeds fell by 13 percent after it decided to follow suit with T-Mobile's unlimited plans, whereas switchers from AT&T were given a year of free DIRECTV subscription and another year of Hulu once AT&T's video streaming service was inaccessible this year. Legere also reiterated his criticism of Verizon's 5G deployment plans which he said were already delayed three times, suggesting T-Mobile's own efforts are more realistic. 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) that Verizon is planning to commercialize next year were also criticized by T-Mobile's chief as a simple hotspot service that only works in one's household. A brief video recap of the company's recent feats was produced to accompany Legere's review of 2017 and can be seen below.
Mocking competitors aside, T-Mobile did have a fairly successful year, having managed to continue growing in most aspects and posting positive financial results while still committing to diversification, most notably by announcing a new Internet TV service set to be released in 2018, powered by the technologies developed by Layer3 TV which the wireless carrier recently acquired. Legere's recap unsurprisingly didn't include any references to the company's unsuccessful merger talks with Sprint which some industry watchers deem its biggest failure of the year, with various estimates putting the potential value of synergies produced by such a consolidation at up to $50 billion. T-Mobile said it's still open to large-scale M&A deals going forward but it will likely be a while before the telecom giant is presented with another major tie-up opportunity.