Live at CES: T-Mobile UNcarrier 4.0


12:37 – John Legere finally on stage. Macklemore was playing leading up to the press event, and to welcome John on stage.

12:38 – Some funny comments about being thrown out of AT&T’s after party on Monday. “I’m not shitting you – I just love Macklemore!”

12:40 – Telling his side of the story still… Apparently he was told, “Yes, I spoke to the CEO of AT&T, and she wants you to leave.”

12:41 – “I have to give you a report card on the industry.” A year ago, everything was about speed and capacity. We had a device selection problem. “That was then, and this is now.”

12:42 – One second on each of our competitors:

  • Verizon – I give you credit for admitting your network is bloated and slow. However, if the network is slow, you should be able to leave. “I have come to the conclusion that the most evil thing to come to the industry is the family plan … that is horseshit.” A family plan is nothing but super contracts on steroids. Family plans have a data plan that is too low for everyone.


  • Sprint is a pile of spectrum waiting to be turned into a a usable network. “Pardon our dust” while we straighten things out. “Did I really hear ‘Framily’ yesterday? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised if they are bringing the Nextel brand back.” Sprint is impaired.


  • AT&T – “I love talking about AT&T because they take the bait.” “Why don’t you have the balls to answer the questions” about whether they are really responding to T-Mobile with their latest announcements.

12:47 – I just noticed John’s been carrying a Red Bull this whole time. “We are fixing a broken industry.”

12:48 – Customers will give T-Mobile the most power. John is going to announce Q4 results now…1.6 million net customer adds!

12:49 – 869,000 postpaid nets. 800,000 were phones, 69,000 tablets. 112,000 prepaid adds.

12:50 – 1.7% branded postpaid churn.

12:51 – New net adds for T-Mobile in 2013 – 4.4 million! T-Mobile is fastest growing wireless company in the US. “We are either going to either take over the whole industry, or transform those bastards.”

12:53 – “Recap – here’s what’s going on. We’re eliminating pain points.” 1.0 – put an end to contracts and overages. 100% Value plans. “This is not an offer – this is a lifestyle. There will never be contracts in our business.”

12;54 – If everyone switched from Verizon and AT&T, the savings would be $20 billion.

12:55 – 3.0 – we made the world your network at no extra charge. “We will be famous for this in 2014.” Data overseas has increased 10x.

12:56 – All the disruption in the industry doesn’t matter without a network to back it up. In 2013 LTE reached 273 metro areas and 209 million pops.

12:57 – playing promotional video.

12:59 – T-Mobile is now the fastest LTE network in the nation.

1:01 – Neville Ray now on stage to talk about network announcements. We had no LTE a year ago – zero. Now look at us.

1:02 – We rolled out our LTE network in less than 9 months. AT&T’s claims about fastest LTE is based on old data, before T-Mobile deployed LTE.

1:03 – T-Mobile has speed test data results based on millions of tests by real customers.

1:04 – With the FCC speedtest app, the government will soon agree with T-Mobile’s claims.

1:05 – T-Mobile also has the most consistent network!

1:06 – T-Mobile is at 17.8Mbps, AT&T at 14.7, and Verizon at 14.3 on average. Sprint at 7.9Mbps. “We passed AT&T early in Q4.”

1:07 – “Someone ask Dan when he’s going to get to 200millions pops.” Lots of Sprint bashing happening!

1:08 – Now showing data from yesterday. T-Mobile first (16.8Mbps), followed by Verizon (~15), AT&T (~13), and then Sprint at the end (~7).

1:09 – Moving into wideband LTE space… 15+15 and 20+20, and “we have the spectrum … many of the other guys don’t.”

1:10 – T-Mobile is now showing a video bashing AT&T U-Verse. Really!

1:11 – We already have a ton of cat 4 LTE devices on the marketplace that can benefit from these speed increases.

1:12 – Talking about Verizon who admitted to being congested, and claims that the devices customers use won’t benefit from the updates to capacity.

1:13 – “The Sprint story…pardon our dust, but it’s a shitstorm!” Try to buy a “Spark or Spanky” handset in a Sprint store, and the associates won’t want to sell it to you, because the Spark network doesn’t exist yet!

1:14 – Low band spectrum is finally coming to T-Mobile. We are going to frighten the crap out of AT&T and Verizon with it. We are going to take LTE into customers homes and dense building with this spectrum.

1:15 – “My business commitment” is to deliver the best LTE to customers.

1:16 – John back on stage. “What we have now is a no apologies network.” (Still no talk about rural coverage, though!) “I’m going to send a cease and desist letter to AT&T” to stop the advertising about the fastest LTE network. “Do you know how many billboards they’ll have to take down? … I might take a film crew and deliver the letter personally.”

1:17 – Moving on to ETFs. “It’s another form of phone subsidy.” It’s part of the scam, there’s no transparency. We going to force the industry to change and become healthier.

1:18 – What he’s going to announce is not a promotion, not a program that will come and go – this is here to stay.

1:20 – T-Mobile is launching the program tomorrow (press release below). “Everyone who wants to switch now can.” Contract freedom!

1:21 – 78% of customers asked said they would switch if someone would pay their ETF.

1:22 – Mike Sievert on stage now. “This is not a promotion, this is not a gimmick.” Two-year savings for family of four after switching to T-Mobile is over $1880.

1:24 – Family plan contracts are typically contracts in perpetuity because everyone has different contract end dates. (good point!)

1:25 – T-Mobile will pay every cent of every ETF of up to 5 lines, up to $350. Plus, if you trade in your phone, you will get a fair market value for it up to $300. Total up to $650 per line.

1:27 – How it works. Trade in your phone and get an instant redit. Get your new devices for $0 down. Send us a copy of your final bill, and we’ll reimburse you every last cent. T-Mobile also has a breakup letter at

1:29 – Q&A time… what will T-Mobile do for existing customers?

1:30 – This announcement is for existing customers, too – trade in your old phone and get rid of your T-Mobile contract, too!

1:31 – Talking about network quality in rural areas – where we’re at, we’re great. Medium term plan is to grow footprint on a level like AT&T and Verizon. We can’t do it overnight, and this year we are going to start deploying in that low band spectrum, and 2015 will really be the year for expansion.

1:34 – “We will cover rural areas.”

1:35 – Asked about acquisition rumors – including an acquisition by Sprint. Historically, consolidation was about gaining spectrum. “What I can tell you is that T-Mobile UNcarrier is here to stay.” How will this play out? “We can acquire low band spectrum and be standalone independent” – but we can do that in other scenarios, too.

1:36 – Question – What happened to make you so hostile, John?

1:37 – In karaoke, you sing after someone who sucks. T-Mobile did that after the failed AT&T acquisition. “I’m just a sponge,” and I couldn’t believe what customers were saying about their wireless experiences.

1:39 – Question – Any fears about a price war that will affect profits on Wall Street?

Answer – Did Lowell tell you to ask that? “We can be very profitable” with our current model.

1:41 – Question about more advertising spending. “We are a distant fourth in ad spending” but we are viral. “We invest just enough to spark consumers who like what we’re doing and want to tell their friends.”

1:42 – Question – Any changes coming to your existing family plans? Answer – Our plans are extremely popular, and the numbers prove this. We already offer more value than even Sprint.

Press release:

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 8, 2014 — One year ago at International CES, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) threw down the gauntlet, promising relief for customers fed up with a broken, arrogant wireless industry. Since then, the company has delivered on its promise with a relentless barrage of Un-carrier industry innovations.

In its latest move, T-Mobile is eliminating one of the last remaining obstacles for individuals and families wanting to switch from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon to the Un-carrier by offering to pay off their early termination fees. With an eligible phone trade-in, the total value of the offer to switch to T-Mobile could be as high as $650 per line.

“We’re giving families a ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card,’ said John Legere, president and chief executive officer of T-Mobile. “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.

Customers have been flocking to T-Mobile for its no annual service contract Simple Choice Plan, industry-leading JUMP!™ upgrade program, unlimited global data at no extra charge in 100-plus countries, and most recently for Free Data for Life on every tablet — up to 200 MB of free 4G LTE data every month for as long as they own their tablet and use the registered device with T-Mobile. But Nielsen research suggests up to 40 percent[i] of families hold back from switching because of high early termination fees (ETFs), and a recent online poll conducted by GigaOM suggests that 78 percent[ii]would switch to T-Mobile if their ETF was paid. ETFs can cost as much as $350 per line. Multiply that two, three or four times for a family, and switching becomes an extremely expensive proposition.

“Carriers like to make you think you’re just signing up for two years with their family plans, but with staggered expiration dates and early termination fees, they’re really locking you in forever,” said Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer for T-Mobile. “Now, families are free to switch without worrying about early termination fees. And by switching to T-Mobile, a family of four can save $1,880 over two years compared to an AT&T shared family plan[iii].”

Here’s how T-Mobile’s offer to pay off these fees works:

Starting tomorrow, customers from the three major national carriers who hand in their eligible devices at any participating T-Mobile location and switch to a postpaid Simple Choice Plan can receive an instant credit, based on the value of their phone, of up to $300. They then purchase any eligible device, including T-Mobile’s most popular smartphones, now priced at $0 down (plus 24 monthly device payments, for well-qualified customers). After customers get the final bill from their old carrier (showing their early termination fees), they either mail it to T-Mobile or upload it to T-Mobile then sends an additional payment equal to those fees, up to $350 per line. Trade-in of their old phone, purchase of a new T-Mobile phone and porting of their phone number to T-Mobile are required to qualify.

This offer to pay early termination fees provides families with a quick way to escape carrier contracts that have deterred them from pursuing a better and more affordable wireless experience with T-Mobile.

T-Mobile is also making it easier for its longtime customers to migrate to Simple Choice plans as well without incurring any migration fees. To qualify for this option a current customer under contract trades in their current device and purchases a new T-Mobile device and switches to Simple Choice. In addition to waiving the migration fee, T-Mobile will also eliminate the existing annual service contract for that customer’s line.

With a Simple Choice Plan from T-Mobile, families start with one line at $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and Web with up to 500 MB of 4G LTE data. They can add a second phone line for $30 per month, and each additional line is just $10 per month. In short, a family could get four lines for just $100 per month (plus taxes and fees). The potential savings are so significant that if every single AT&T, Sprint and Verizon customer switched to a Simple Choice Plan, T-Mobile estimates they would save up to $20 billion [iv]collectively each year.

In addition to great family plan savings, individuals and families can also enjoy an incredible wireless experience thanks to T-Mobile’s rapidly expanding nationwide 4G LTE network– now the fastest[v] in the United States. For more information, visit the T-Mobilenewsroom.

About T-Mobile US, Inc.:
As America’s Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: “TMUS”) is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The company’s advanced nationwide 4G and expanding 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences for customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile US provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. For more information, please visit

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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