Even though T-Mobile’s Uncarrier initiative allows the company to punch well above its weight, in terms of subscriber growth, it’s actually lost money in five of the past six financial quarters. Because of this, T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, isn’t too optimistic on T-Mobile’s prospects unless the company accomplishes a merger, as revealed in an interview with Re/code. Even so, CEO John Legere says the Uncarrier is here to stay, and dismissed Deutsche Telekom’s statements in his typical bombastic fashion.
Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Höttges confessed that, just to keep pace with Verizon and AT&T, his company has to continually invest $4 billion to $5 billion each year. Höttges even admitted that T-Mobile’s Uncarrier ways aren’t sustainable in the long-run. Something that would offset these costs is a merger, an idea that was entertained by Sprint and French carrier Iliad just a few months ago, to no avail.
“The question is always the economics in the long term … and earning appropriate money,” said Höttges. “You have to earn your money back at one point in time.”
As far as the failed Sprint merger is concerned, Höttges said he is still intrigued at the idea of such a merger, though his hopes will rise as soon as the political climate makes that idea more favorable. “I was intrigued by the idea of having a combination with Sprint and being the ‘super-maverick’ in the market,” Höttges admitted. “I hope that the political environment will change at one point in time.”
Höttges also made a nice jab at T-Mobile CEO John Legere, saying Legere’s “management style will never be adaptable to Germany,” where Deutsche Telekom is based. Even so, Höttges admires Legere’s competitive nature. Legere, on the other hand, had quite a few things to say on Twitter.
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) January 20, 2015
“It’s total bullsh**,” he replied in response to journalists’ questions on Twitter. Legere also went after articles that dissed T-Mobile’s network and Uncarrier policies in the following tweet:
He also reassured T-Mobile customers that Uncarrier is here to stay.
Legere even polled German Twitter users as to whether his management style would succeed in Germany. Many agreed his style would clash with Germans, but others invited him to come change the wireless industry in the country. All in all, it appears that T-Mobile’s CEO isn’t backing down for anybody — not even his boss.