But at least for the foreseeable future, it doesn't look like Magenta's head honchos have any intention to shed the cheeky and combative image built around Legere's unorthodox style of communication in recent years. While Sievert and T-Mo President of Technology Neville Ray didn't go so far as to repeat Legere's favorite insult for Verizon and AT&T at a conference in Las Vegas this week, the jabs were pretty direct and the message unequivocal.
T-Mobile fully believes its 5G network will crush the competition's next-gen connectivity thanks to a coherent strategy focusing on both coverage and speed improvements for the near and distant future. But everything still hinges on a big question mark.
Although we recently caught wind of some of the contingency plans currently being devised for a no-merger scenario deemed increasingly likely by most Wall Street analysts, T-Mobile remains confident the $26.5 billion mega deal will be completed sooner or later, allowing the "Un-carrier" to combine its own low-band spectrum with Sprint's wealth of mid-band technology.
If that happens, Neville Ray is predicting the "tremendous" resulting network will "literally kick the ass out of AT&T and Verizon" this time next year. That's because Ray says he doesn't see how Big Red could "ever compete with a nationwide map" using exclusively millimeter wave technology, while Ma Bell is already several steps behind T-Mobile's existing 5G network, "chasing our tail as fast as they can to get something up on low band so they have a story to tell."
At least as far as AT&T's recent 5G deployments are concerned, it's definitely hard to argue with what Ray is saying. From a spectrum standpoint, the two networks are pretty similar right now, relying on low band technology to penetrate walls and cover a lot of ground. But so far, AT&T has only been able to cover the ground of 19 cities, while T-Mo flipped its 5G switch nationwide last month, offering access to higher download speeds and lower latency for "more than 200 million people" coast to coast.
Big Red's executives generally like to keep their statements on such matters as tactful as possible, rarely naming names or directly pointing the finger at specific rivals when discussing the "industry's" shortcomings. Ronan Dunne, the Executive Vice President and CEO of Verizon's Consumer division, didn't make an exception to that rule in an earlier talk at the same Vegas event.
Dunne reiterated his company's position that "real 5G" needs to be a "fundamental game changer", providing substantial differentiation in terms of speed and capacity from what 4G LTE currently offers. While certain unnamed competitors are "scrambling" to use inferior 5G technology to make up for the fact that they either don't have satisfactory coverage or capacity in their 4G LTE networks, according to Dunne, Verizon purportedly "serves the entire country" with 4G LTE speeds that in "most cases are higher than the available DSL offering for customers."
Most notably, Dunne pointed out that Verizon could very well do what "others have been doing in recent weeks", opting to focus on the massive upgrades mmWave technology can provide on a smaller scale rather than trying to modestly improve its already impressive LTE download speeds "nationwide." It remains to be seen whether or not this strategy will prove effective and successful in the long run, especially if T-Mobile and Sprint do manage to join forces ultimately and put their grand plan of combining low and mid-band 5G spectrum into action.