It has been a little while since we’ve seen a classic rant by T-Mobile’s John Legere, the long-haired outspoken rebel CEO who is doing everything he can to shake up the wireless industry.
Maybe Legere was just letting things build up.
In a video and blog post today, Legere goes right after rivals AT&T and Verizon for their tactics in trying to control what happens in an upcoming wireless spectrum auction.
“There’s some serious shit about to go down in D.C., and if you are one of the 180 million Americans out there using a smartphone, and you are not pissed off right now, then you are not paying attention, but you need to,” said Legere in the video.
He goes on to claim that Verizon — who he labels “dumb” — and AT&T — who he calls “dumber” — are trying to dominate an upcoming spectrum auction, essentially playing “keep away” with the mobile future of Americans.
“They don’t give a damn about you, or about making this industry better,” Legere says. “They just want to jack up your bill and line their pockets. It is the same old crap, on a different day.”
“AT&T and Verizon have deployed an army of lobbyists to gang up on these five FCC commissioners in hopes of controlling wireless access to the Internet here in the US. They want to dictate the decisions that will help them dominate the wireless industry going forward and you’re going to pay the price,” writes Legere in the blog post. He asks consumers to “make some noise,” and reach out directly to the FCC.
Legere is no stranger to attacking his larger rivals, but the venom in the latest post and video indicates just how important this issue is for T-Mobile. In order to survive as an independent company, T-Mobile will need to boost its spectrum positions.
“We want and need more low-band spectrum,” says Legere in the video. “More spectrum means there can be more competition and more innovation, but not if ‘dumb’ and ‘dumber’ get their way.”
The remarks come as T-Mobile reportedly considers a tie-up with Dish Network Corp., a huge potential deal that could alter the landscape in the wireless industry and give T-Mobile more spectrum. Reuters reported last week that a Dish merger with T-Mobile would give the combined entity the second largest pile of spectrum in the U.S. mobile industry, behind No. 3 carrier Sprint.
T-Mobile remains the fourth largest wireless carrier with 56.8 million customers at the end of the first quarter.
We’ve asked AT&T and Verizon for comment on Legere’s remarks, and we’ll update this post as we learn more. UPDATE: AT&T declined to comment directly on Legere’s remarks, pointing instead to this public policy blog post on the topic .
Watch Legere’s full video here: