If announcing a new initiative to pay for the termination fees of customers switching to T-Mobile from the big three carriers wasn’t enough, T-Mobile CEO John Legere made it clear that he wasn’t going to play nice with the rest of the industry while on stage at CES 2014. Almost no one was spared in the CEO’s scathing Wednesday press conference.
Enemy number one for Legere was, no surprise, AT&T. The company has never been on Legere’s good side, but it definitely didn’t clear the air when it kicked Legere out of it’s party at CES on Monday – and security didn’t even let him watch Macklemore perform. That would be enough to upset anyone, but Legere had plenty of grievances to air with AT&T without that incident.
The first complaint lodged: AT&T’s claims of being the “fastest network.” Legere’s plan to put an end to the ad campaign is to make them stop stating the claim entirely. “I’m going to send a cease and desist letter to AT&T telling them to stop their ads saying they are the fastest,” he said. “You know how many billboards they are going to have to take down?”
Why keep picking on AT&T? It’s pretty simple. “AT&T is a total source of amusement for me,” Legere said. “They are the ones that take my bullshit. Dumb move. They take the bait.” But it’s not all fun and games – T-Mobile’s CEO has some real beef with AT&T and it wants some answers, specifically as to why AT&T would offer a $200 credit to buy customers away from the smaller T-Mobile. “Why don’t you have the balls to answer the question: Is this targeted at T-Mobile because they are taking a piece out of you?”
With the latest offer of covering early termination fees, that piece may get bigger. That’s exactly what Legere and T-Mobile are hoping for. “We are either going to take over this whole industry, or these bastards will change and we’ll still be wildly successful. I’m going to love watching the peckers scream.”
As for the rest of his competitors, Legere isn’t particularly impressed. He claims Verizon and Sprint are both guilty of charging premium prices for bad service and let both have it a little as well. “I give Verizon huge credit for admitting their network is overloaded. But in this industry you should be able to leave if the network doesn’t live up,” Legere said.
As for Sprint, even though company has been rumored to be buying T-Mobile, that didn’t save it from Legere’s wrath. “Sprint is a pile of spectrum waiting to be turned into a capability” he said while mocking the carrier for it’s message of “pardon our dust” while performing network upgrades. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray chimed in as well, calling Sprint’s network a “shit storm.” For what it’s worth, T-Mobile has not denied the possibility of an acquisition by Sprint. If it were to happen, it will be interesting to see what role the vocal CEO plays in the company.