For T-Mobile CEO, Getting Tossed From a Vegas Party Is Just the Beginning

John Legere, CEO and President of T-Mobile USA, makes an announcement during an event about new contract pricing on March 26, 2013 in New York City. Legere confirmed that T-Mobile will start carrying the iPhone 5 starting April 12, under it's new no-contract plan called The Simple Choice, with the customers paying $99 down, then $20 a month for 24 months, on top of the monthly service plan.
National Journal
Laura Ryan
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Laura Ryan
Jan. 9, 2014, 8:52 a.m.

T-Mo­bile CEO John Legere came out swinging at the Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show in Las Ve­gas.

The fourth-largest tele­com will of­fer up to $650 in cred­its to cov­er early-ter­min­a­tion fees and phone trade-ins for cus­tom­ers who switch over from AT&T, Sprint, or Ve­r­i­zon, Legere an­nounced Wed­nes­day in a speech at CES.

“We’re giv­ing fam­il­ies a ‘Get Out of Jail Free card,’ ” Legere said. “Car­ri­ers have coun­ted on staggered con­tract end dates and hefty early ter­min­a­tion fees to keep people bound to them forever. But now fam­il­ies can switch to T-Mo­bile without pay­ing a single red cent to leave them be­hind.”

This move is part of Legere’s broad­er vis­ion to upend the en­tire wire­less in­dustry since tak­ing over as CEO in 2012.

“We will be­come fam­ous for this in 2014,” Legere said. “We’re go­ing to force the in­dustry to change. I want every cus­tom­er to have a com­plete choice. It’s go­ing to be a health­i­er in­dustry.”

After a near-death ex­per­i­ence in 2011 when reg­u­lat­ors blocked an AT&T and T-Mo­bile mer­ger, T-Mo­bile has a new lease on life. The com­pany has ad­ded 4.4 mil­lion new cus­tom­ers in 2013.

T-Mo­bile in­tro­duced a string of of­fer­ings over to the last year — such as cheap­er plans and more-flex­ible up­grade op­tions — to woo cus­tom­ers away from AT&T and Ve­r­i­zon.

Legere’s flair is also piquing cus­tom­ers’ in­terests. The salty CEO, whose pink T-Mo­bile shirt and cheeky tweets have been a ubi­quit­ous pres­ence at the coun­try’s largest tech con­fer­ence, gained no­tori­ety earli­er this week when he was es­cor­ted out of AT&T’s party at CES.

T-Mo­bile’s de­fi­ant be­ha­viour is for­cing its com­pet­it­ors on the de­fens­ive. AT&T pree­mp­ted T-Mo­bile earli­er this week with a $450 of­fer­ing to T-Mo­bile cus­tom­ers, and began a mar­ket­ing blitz to pro­mote its speed. Ve­r­i­zon in­tro­duced a cheap­er plan to match T-Mo­bile’s plan in 2013.

The wire­less in­dustry’s un­der­dog has a long way to go, however, be­fore it catches up with AT&T and Ve­r­i­zon. The two largest tele­com com­pan­ies’ high-speed net­works ser­vice two-thirds of the coun­try’s mo­bile cus­tom­ers and cov­er a much wider ter­rit­ory. But T-Mo­bile is chip­ping away in both areas.

T-Mo­bile reached a $3.3 bil­lion deal with Ve­r­i­zon earli­er this week to pur­chase a swath of low-band fre­quen­cies — the most coveted type of spec­trum be­cause of its abil­ity to pen­et­rate build­ings in high-dens­ity areas and travel fur­ther dis­tances in low-pop­u­la­tion areas. T-Mo­bile’s first low-band ac­quis­i­tion will help im­prove its ser­vice in key areas, such as New York and Los Angeles.

Sprint floated the idea of a mer­ger with T-Mo­bile in Decem­ber, ac­cord­ing to people fa­mil­i­ar with the mat­ter. Such a mer­ger would likely en­counter for­mid­able reg­u­lat­ory op­pos­i­tion, es­pe­cially in light of T-Mo­bile’s re­sur­gence.

What We're Following See More »
MAYBE MORE COMING
Cohn Rules Out Easing Russian Sanctions
7 hours ago
BREAKING
DON’T NEED COMMITTEE SUPPORT
Senate Intelligence Leadership Have Full Subpoena Authority
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Sens. Richard Burr and Mark Warner, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, were granted broad subpoena power Thursday, as the committee "voted unanimously to give [Burr and Warner] the blanket authority for the duration of the investigation into Russia's election meddling and possible collusion with President Trump's campaign." The two leaders must agree, but no longer need the approval of the rest of the committee.

Source:
APOLOGIZES FOR ASSAULT
Republican Gianforte Wins Montana Special Election
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

Republican Greg Gianforte won the special election Thursday to fill the Montana House seat left vacant when Donald Trump selected former Congressman Ryan Zinke as Interior secretary. Gianforte, who lost a race for Montana governor in 2016, took 50 percent of the vote to Democrat Rob Quist's 44 percent. Gianforte assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs the night before the election and it was unclear if it would affect the race. In his victory speech, Gianforte apologized to Jacobs, saying "Last night, I made a mistake and I took an action that I cant take back ... I am sorry Mr. Ben Jacobs."

Source:
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
1 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
1 days ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login