John Legere has kept a pretty low profile since being named CEO of T-Mobile USA last September, even though he did already help orchestrate a big merger with MetroPCS. But now we’re starting to hear more from the wireless executive. And Legere, the former CEO of Global Crossing, is coming out firing on behalf of the country’s fourth biggest carrier.
At a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show Tuesday, Legere reportedly labeled AT&T’s network as “crap” in New York City. He went on to criticize his bigger rival’s marketing efforts, noting that he “saw more honesty on a Match.com ad than AT&T’s coverage maps.”
Legere also was critical of Verizon’s roll out of LTE in “dust bowl states,” later noting that “they’re not the cool company.”
And what does he think of shared data plans?
“A 5-gigabyte, 10-device shared data plan, when Joe Schmoe Jr. starts to watch porn on his phone, isn’t gonna work,” he quipped.
This is going to be a fun year to cover the wireless industry, especially from our vantage point here in Seattle. After all, not only is T-Mobile looking to claw its way back into the mobile fight by rolling out a new LTE network and the iPhone (expected to arrive in the next three to four months), but Clearwire is currently in the midst of what appears to be a classic bidding war between Dish Network and Sprint.
In fact, Legere noted in remarks to Reuters on Tuesday that he would potentially explore a deal with Dish Network, adding yet another potential wrinkle to the Clearwire saga.
And then there’s device subsidies, which T-Mobile plans to wipe out in order to differentiate itself from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon which cut prices on devices in order to lock customers into 2-year service contracts.
“If the old industry structure chooses to ignore what we do,” he said. “That’s a potential” to grow market share by as much as five percent.
Hang on, folks. This could be a fun ride.
At a panel discussion a few weeks ago, I mentioned how I thought the T-Mobile story was going to be an interesting one to watch in 2013. Now, just nine days into the year here we are with Legere taking off the gloves.
Previously on GeekWire: T-Mobile executive: Key to fixing industry is removing device subsidies