Talk about drama. The top dogs at Sprint and T-Mobile are barking at each other so loudly that the tech industry has stopped to watch the fight.
Last week, T-Mobile CEO John Legere went on a diatribe -- complete with profanity -- against the wireless competition. Now, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure (pictured) is biting back at its direct competitor. Sprint and T-Mobile are the third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers in the U.S., respectively.
Claure tweeted: "@JohnLegere I am so tired of your Uncarrier bullsh**t when you are worse than the other two carriers together. Your cheap misleading lease imitation is a joke. You trick people to believe that they have a 15 dollar iphone lease payment when it's not true. You tell them they can upgrade up to 3x but you don't tell them the price goes up to 27 dollars when they do. You say one thing but behave completely different. It's all a fake show. So its really #Tmobilelikehell."
It seems Legere got Claure’s goat when he criticized Sprint’s new All-In plan. The $80 a month plan includes a wireless device with unlimited talk, text and high-speed data. The company apparently underestimated the customer backlash that would haunt it for putting a 600 kbps maximum on the new plan.
Sounds like a great deal, so what’s the beef? Apparently, the 600 kbps limit won’t get you far. It’s not nearly enough to watch YouTube or Netflix videos, for example. So if you want to watch mobile video at all, you would be out of luck. Sprint almost immediately removed the limitations.
Legere then tweeted: “I give credit to @sprint for swinging the bat when they do -- but #allin is a swing and a miss, guys!! #sprintlikehell.”
Kick It up a Notch
We caught up with Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, to get his thoughts on the rapid-fire media war between the strong-willed CEOs. He told us the public tit for tat is actually drawing a lot of attention to both carriers.
Clearly, he’s right. But was there something in particular that caused the sudden sparring match in technology headlines? Enderle said most likely.
“Sprint's board has been suggesting their CEO take it up another notch given T-Mobile's success. In fact I expect this perception that Sprint needs to be run by someone with the same courage as T-Mobile's CEO is at the heart of the Sprint response,” Enderle said. “In the end, however, both firms would be better off focusing on the large players than each other.”
Stealing Market Share from Big Two
Enderle may be on to something. T-Mobile and Sprint could be on point to steal market share from AT&T and Verizon in the next five years, according to a report from Strategy Analytics Inc.
“As the U.S. market focuses on the next stage of its evolution -- from voice to text to data and now to constant connectivity and what you do with it -- competition for market share and retention of subscribers takes center stage,” said Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, director of wireless operator strategies at Strategy Analytics.
“Neck and neck numbers three and four challengers -- T-Mobile USA with its pro-consumer Un-carrier strategy and straggler Sprint that has shown great strides in network performance -- are focused on network efforts to reach LTE network parity with the top two and market offers aimed to grow share, yet need to also address higher churn levels and margins,” she added.
Anonymous Tech Expert:
Posted: 2015-07-05 @ 12:47pm PT
Sprint is the deadbeat carrier out of all carriers. Every store has thug life baby mama drama inside it. Just go by a Sprint store and a TMobile store. It's like a moped - Sprint vs Tmobile an actual car.
Posted: 2015-07-05 @ 10:25am PT
Sprint is among the worst carriers I have ever had in California. I have had them for 10 years and they have got worse each year. Every other carrier is about 10X the speed. I am up near Sacramento, you know the capitol. I do not get more than 2 to 3 MBPS in either direction. SMH Sprint is not doing anything to keep their customers on the west coast. That much is sure.
Posted: 2015-07-05 @ 10:06am PT
Comments from PeteHC sound like sour grapes. I've been w/ t-mobile for years and their customer service never ceases to amaze me. I've been on and off w/ ATT for 18 years (yep, my 1st cell was in 1996) either with cell coverage and/or land line service (now). I've had consistently awful, arrogant service and spotty coverage. I've worked with Verizon as a subcontractor and they seemed very smart and a "with it" kind of company. However, I'm happy with T-Mobile and very happy with their pricing structure. So Verizon won't see me anytime soon. On the other hand, I've also worked with Sprint as a subcontractor and I saw a team with limited technical savvy and lethargic project management. No Sprint for me.
Posted: 2015-07-05 @ 8:17am PT
I have been with Sprint for over 10 years. I do not have any issue with their network. I have a second work phone with T-mobile. It will not give a good signal out west in Florida. Just like every other carrier (including Sprint) in the USA, there are some areas that would be difficult to get coverage. I think value and customer service will make the difference for me.
Posted: 2015-07-05 @ 8:13am PT
First get your network to GSM and LTE. It seems envy is speaking rather than the network.
Posted: 2015-07-05 @ 7:47am PT
Comments like Keltypack's are so overused. It's exactly like "well my ex sucked, but this new girl is awesome," while your ex is now a supermodel and all you know is the nerdy fat girl you dated. In this day and age, networks are changing so quickly you can't say "well 3 years ago they sucked".
Posted: 2015-07-05 @ 5:19am PT
I left T-mobile and recommend for the rest of its customers do the same. Not sure that changed this company. It used to be much better with customers, but now customer service quality degraded and cellular network is not improving a bit. On TV, T-mobile says it is fastest but doesn't say where and when. If you are with T-mobile, switch as soon as you can.
Jimmie Hathaway II:
Posted: 2015-07-05 @ 2:57am PT
It looks like I'll be switching from Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile to T Mobile. I've been very disappointed with their technical support, slow speeds, low data plans, phones. Trying to watch YouTube videos with twenty second plus sound gaps is maddening.
Posted: 2015-07-04 @ 4:26pm PT
I've been customers of both Sprint & T-Mobile. I switched to T-Mobile (from Sprint) three years ago. I went from "unlimited" 4G data, where I could barely get 150 kbps to T-Mobile's 3G HSPA+ where I could get 2+ Mbps. Now I have LTE and routinely get better than 10 Mbps. My Sprint friends are still stuck with horrible data service. I hate VZ and ATT and won't do business with either. That leaves T-Mo and Sprint. T-Mo is great; Sprint sucks. #sprintlikehell
Posted: 2015-07-03 @ 1:11am PT
#sprintlikehell is a lot funnier than #tmobilelikehell. Undone by their own tweet, how sad.