Ever since T-Mobile CEO John Legere called AT&T's network "crap" at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, the executive has not been shy at calling out T-Mobile's rivals. While we don't believe that records for this kind of thing are kept, off hand we'd say that AT&T and its CEO Randall Stephenson have been Legere's favorite punching bags. The best shot might have been the most subtle; for April Fool's day this year, T-Mobile announced that it was placing sound proof booths across the country know as PhoneBoothE. In a video, Legere essentially said that you know that Phone BoothE is real because T-Mobile tacked an "E" onto the end of the name. That, of course, was a shot at AT&T's use of a 5G E icon on phones connected to its 5G Evolution network. This is not a 5G network, but is actually an enhanced 4G LTE pipeline; the use of the icon can confuse consumers into thinking that they are actually running 5G speeds, which of course they are not.
Today, it turns out that Verizon is the subject of Legere's attention. T-Mobile put up a whole webpage designed to look like Big Red's site, fonts and all. Instead of Verizon, the carrier's name is changed to verHIDEzon. And a red question mark replaces Verizon's iconic red checkmark. T-Mobile is not taking any prisoners here. Read the beginning of the copy on the site. "Welcome to VerHIDEzon. Where you Pay More for 5G…Then Guess Where to Find It. It’s just that simple. We believe in charging a premium for 5G, without telling you where you’ll have coverage. We announce cities that have 5G, charge our customers more to get it, and then leave them wondering where it is. We offer 5G in some football stadiums, but as for where exactly it’ll work in there? Shrug."
T-Mobile is the fastest growing of the four major wireless carriers in the U.S.
T-Mobile can go after its rivals like this for a couple of reasons. One, its rivals are so buttoned-down that if such tactics weren't taught to them in B-School, they wouldn't dare consider doing it. And more importantly, T-Mobile can talk the talk and walk the walk. That's because it has gone from being the fourth and most forgettable U.S. wireless provider to the fastest growing and most innovative carrier in the states. And now it has just one more hurdle to overcome to complete its merger with Sprint.
As we said, T-Mobile is not playing around. The company has put up a verHIDEzon billboard in Times Square and has advertised on the side of trucks and on bus stop kiosks. Will Verizon respond? We wouldn't count on it.