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Liveblog: T-Mobile Un-Carrier 4

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Jan 8, 2014, 2:30 PM   by Rich Brome

T-Mobile usually has an interesting press event at CES. They've also been hosting "Un-Carrier" press events recently to announce bold new strategic moves that are shaking up the industry. This year's CES will host T-Mobile's "Un-Carrier 4" event. T-Mobile has already put a stake in the heart of device subsidies and intro'd free global data roaming. What's next? Tune in live to find out. Or just tune in to be thoroughly entertained by CEO John Legere's razor-sharp jabs at his competitors. Either way, we'll have you covered right here.


Jan 8, 2014, 4:46 PM: Always entertaining. John did not disappoint. Thanks for joining us!

Jan 8, 2014, 4:45 PM: That's a wrap! Previewing a new TV ad to close it out.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:45 PM: John basically just said "family plans are dumb, but if you want us to tape one together for you, we're cool with that."

Jan 8, 2014, 4:41 PM: They spend far less on advertising, too.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:40 PM: Now he's talking about how they afford all this. "We've taken about a billion and a half out of our cost structure in the last year."

Jan 8, 2014, 4:38 PM: Legere on competing in this industry: "It's fun to win. It's even more fun when someone loses and gets hurt doing it."

Jan 8, 2014, 4:37 PM: Hmmmmmm. He's really leaving the door open to a Sprint merger. He likes Sprint's spectrum, but thinks T-Mobile's strategy - and brand - will prevail in the short and long term, regardless of any merger.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:35 PM: Asked about Sprint merger rumors, John says "I'm not supposed to comment on things like that. I'm going to comment."

Jan 8, 2014, 4:34 PM: John Legere sees no reason they can't become the #1 carrier in a few years.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:33 PM: John Legere and Neville Ray are pushing the new 700 MHz spectrum to improve its footprint (coverage) in rural and suburban areas, where they admit they have been weak.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:30 PM: Oh neat. You can even switch from T-Mobile to T-Mobile. If you have an old crappy contract with T-Mobile, you can take advantage of all of this as if you were switching from AT&T, even the trade-in credit for your old phone.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:29 PM: Q&A time.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:28 PM: T-Mobile will even help you write a "break-up letter" to send to your old carrier when you switch. Ha!

Jan 8, 2014, 4:28 PM: Oh John Legere called someone a "prick". This is moving so fast I forget who.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:27 PM: He's using an iPhone 5s from AT&T as an example to show how you could actually profit from this, making more in trade-in credit than you paid. Seems like cheating, but they're encouraging it.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:26 PM: All phones are now $0 down, further reducing barriers to switch.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:25 PM: So that $650 number... it's up to $350 per line for ETFs, plus up to $300 as a device trade-in.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:24 PM: Now Mike Sievert on stage.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:23 PM: He's even encouraging AT&T customers to do a trial. T-Mobile will pay you to switch to them. Then if you don't like it, switch back in a month and AT&T will pay you to come back. "Complete freedom"

Jan 8, 2014, 4:21 PM: On AT&T Next: "what moron would do that?"

Jan 8, 2014, 4:21 PM: I have no idea how he'll pay for this, but that's John's problem.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:20 PM: They'll pay ETFs on up to five lines, up to $650 per line.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:19 PM: This goes live tomorrow.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:19 PM: They're going to pay you to leave AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon. You can switch to T-Mobile and pay nothing even if you're under contract. This program is "here to stay".

Jan 8, 2014, 4:17 PM: Now on to ETFs. (Early Termination Fees.) It's "another subsidy", and "a scam".

Jan 8, 2014, 4:16 PM: John Legere is back. He's going to send a "cease and desist" letter to AT&T to ask them to remove all advertising claiming that they're the fastest. He's serious. He may do it in person and take a film crew.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:15 PM: He's committed to delivering "the best damn LTE network".

Jan 8, 2014, 4:15 PM: Now he's talking briefly about the new 700 MHz spectrum they just bought from Verizon. No real details, though.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:14 PM: On Sprint: "a shitstorm"... "maybe some day Sprint will fix that thing" (their network). "I'll throw them a party when they do."

Jan 8, 2014, 4:13 PM: Now he's bashing on Verizon, and the fact that they were late bringing LTE 1700 phones to market, so their newly-enhanced LTE AWS network isn't available to most customers. He's right.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:12 PM: Now on to Cat. 4 LTE, which enables those speeds above 100 Mbps. They already offer "a lot" of phones with Cat. 4 LTE.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:11 PM: T-Mobile seems to be calling 20+20 LTE "Wideband LTE". Now a video demo showing that T-Mobile's 20+20 LTE in Dallas is twice as fast as AT&T's home broadband.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:09 PM: Adding more spectrum to LTE is what's driving this. 15+15 and 20+20 is what makes the difference.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:08 PM: Neville is now bashing on Sprint for their slow LTE deployment.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:07 PM: Speedtest.net results averaged for all of US and all of December 2013 show 17.8 Mbps average for T-Mobile, with AT&T in second at 14.7 Mbps.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:05 PM: Neville claims that not only is T-Mobile LTE now the fastest, it's also the most consistently fast. The data is from Ookla Speedtest app tests.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:01 PM: Neville Ray on stage to talk network details.

Jan 8, 2014, 4:00 PM: They're claiming that thousands of speed tests prove that their 4G network is now the fastest.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:58 PM: Now on to network improvements...

Jan 8, 2014, 3:56 PM: The news has hit the wire. Here it is: " ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’ – T-Mobile will pay off the early termination fees for customers that want to switch from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. 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."

Jan 8, 2014, 3:53 PM: He's about to bring someone else on stage, and mentioned that he lost weight since the last event. Then said "I liked him better fat."

Jan 8, 2014, 3:52 PM: About his competitors in 2014: "I'm going to love watching the peckers scream and cry."

Jan 8, 2014, 3:51 PM: 4.4 million new customers in all of 2013.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:51 PM: Now he's bragging specifically about how many customers he's grabbing from AT&T and Sprint. A lot. Not nearly as many from Verizon.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:50 PM: 869,000 new post-paid. Improved churn.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:49 PM: He's announcing some Q4 results. They added more customers than the other guys combined. 1.6 million new customers in Q4. 1 million branded net adds.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:46 PM: On AT&T's Sponsored Data: "The biggest horseshit in the world."

Jan 8, 2014, 3:46 PM: AT&T is "Fat cats that can't move."

Jan 8, 2014, 3:45 PM: John loves that AT&T takes his bait. "Dumb move." He's right.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:45 PM: "Sprint is an impaired brand waiting to turn into something."

Jan 8, 2014, 3:44 PM: Sprint... "Spanky? Sparky?"

Jan 8, 2014, 3:44 PM: "Sprint is a pile of spectrum waiting to be turned into a capability."

Jan 8, 2014, 3:43 PM: John hates family plans. They are "a contract on steroids". And we know how he feels about contracts.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:42 PM: John gives Verizon "huge credit" for "admitting that their network is bloated and slow."

Jan 8, 2014, 3:42 PM: Red Bull: the drink of choice of maverick CEOs.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:41 PM: John is very happy to be in the NY Post next to NY sex scandals.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:41 PM: John telling the story of getting kicked out of AT&T's party last night. Pretty funny.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:39 PM: Hilarious.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:39 PM: To CNET's Roger Cheng: "If you ever take another goddamn picture of me, I'll kill you."

Jan 8, 2014, 3:37 PM: John Legere on stage!

Jan 8, 2014, 3:36 PM: (painfully loud video recapping 2013.)

Jan 8, 2014, 3:35 PM: John Legere video. At a real AT&T store, trying to pay Jeremy's $74,000 bill.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:34 PM: Playing a supercut of Jeremy, the kid with the high data roaming bill and annoying parents.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:32 PM: Here we go!

Jan 8, 2014, 3:29 PM: Now playing: Same Love. Nice.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:28 PM: More Macklemore. More "fucks". We've gone from "This is Fucking Awesome" to "Thin Line". Lyric: "Is it just you or am I fucking crazy?" I'm not going to answer that.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:24 PM: Macklemore playing. Of course. Uncensored, so a dozen f-bombs have already been dropped, and Legere hasn't even taken the stage yet. Buckle up!

Jan 8, 2014, 3:19 PM: And we are in.

Jan 8, 2014, 3:14 PM: In line... they may be running late.

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About the author, Rich Brome:

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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Jan 8, 2014, 3:49 PM


I'm watching this now. Legere is effin crazy lmao I love him. Love the jabs at Sprint but he really hates AT&T. Enemy #1
Just reading the updates have me cracking up! I can imagine actually watching it. Hope I can catch it on youtube later when I get out of work

Jan 8, 2014, 4:20 PM

T-Mobile's 2G Network

I wish someone would have screamed at Neville Ray, what are you going to do about your 2G network, while you are calling everyone else's network garbage!?
emcdonald75 said:
I wish someone would have screamed at Neville Ray, what are you going to do about your 2G network, while you are calling everyone else's network garbage!?

Where do hell do you live though? smh

Jan 8, 2014, 4:04 PM

And that's it.

"The news has hit the wire. Here it is: " ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’ – T-Mobile will pay off the early termination fees for customers that want to switch from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. 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.""

That's it. This is going to escalate, and once every carrier is paying off every other carrier's ETF, the termination fee will cease to matter, as will contracts. This is the final nail in the contract's coffin.
That's exactly what he said on stage. That is John's explicit goal. (I love it.)
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