Verizon's Chairman and CEO, Lowell McAdam spoke with Geekwire this week, and the big topic was the pending T-Mobile/Sprint merger that was announced just last weekend. McAdam was asked what he thought of the merger and how it might affect Verizon, in which he stated that Verizon "doesn't care". He continued to say that "maybe the fourth time is the charm, I don't know." Of course, McAdam is talking about the various mergers that T-Mobile has been involved in. Starting with AT&T back in 2011 and then various talks with Sprint since then.
The main topic for T-Mobile and Sprint with this merger has been 5G. Both companies stating that by combining, it could create the fastest 5G network in the US. Verizon doesn't agree. McAdam stated that his company has bene pushing forward with its 5G strategy already. Continuing to say that he doesn't "think that merger matters from a 5G perspective." McAdam says that Verizon is going to do 5G regardless, and "we're way ahead of everybody."Elaborating on the fact that Verizon has already invested quite a bit in fiber and millimeter wave spectrum, which is needed for 5G.
On the subject of competition in the US, McAdam said that it will likely change the market, and said that he believes the industry is already pretty competitive. But McAdam also stated that it'll take them two years before they can actually start competing with the "duopoly" of AT&T and Verizon. That's a year of regulatory approval and then a year of combining the two carriers together. McAdam has a point there. Even combined, Sprint and T-Mobile will still be the smallest of the three carriers, about 15 million subscribers short of AT&T, and about 25 million short of Verizon. This would move T-Mobile closer to those two, but not quite there. McAdam does believe that the industry will get even more competitive if this merger does get approved, which is a bit surprising to hear McAdam say that. It's almost as if he is in favor of it, even though he is saying "we don't care" regarding the merger.