Just four short months after officially completing its long-in-the-works Sprint takeover, T-Mobile claims to have surpassed AT&T in subscriber numbers, setting its sights on Verizon next on the road to total US wireless industry domination.
As you can imagine, recently appointed CEO Mike Sievert turned the first quarterly earnings call of the combined T-Mobile/Sprint company into an exuberant celebration of that particular achievement, as well as many other milestones accomplished in the last few months.
But it appears that at least some of John Legere’s combative nature has been passed on to the flamboyant businessman’s successor too, as Sievert took the time on Thursday to hit back at a number of claims
made by American Tower not long ago in addition to throwing a couple of traditional jabs in Verizon’s general direction.
Network buildout is not everything
The verbal attacks were not subtle, mind you, with the finger pointed at the aforementioned real estate investment trust for spreading “disinformation.” Sievert adamantly disagrees with the characterization of T-Mo’s 5G network expansion pace as slow
, highlighting the “Un-carrier’s” presence in “all the biggest cities in the country” with mid-band 2.5GHz spectrum already.
The reason why tower companies might be failing to acknowledge T-Mobile’s incredibly hard work
of late is that the wireless service provider chose to primarily focus on improving its existing infrastructure rather than setting up a bunch of new sites.
That’s because the post-merger industry giant doesn’t need to build so many additional cell tower sites anymore, having “synergies” that allow the mobile network operator to reduce its 5G construction costs and vastly improve the efficiency of its fast-growing business.
Instead of spending time and money on further expanding the availability of the nation’s first nationwide 5G network
, T-Mo is currently updating around 700 existing cell tower sites a week with speed-enhancing mid-band equipment previously owned by Sprint. As President of Technology Neville Ray notes, “that’s thousands of sites in a month and in a quarter”, bringing the impressively widespread 5G signal closer and closer to Verizon’s market-leading download numbers
Magenta is the new (Big) Red
The difference, of course, remains that T-Mobile
has both a well-devised plan and pretty much all the resources needed to enable these major speed upgrades for the masses. Then again, there’s always room for improvement, and although the “Un-carrier’s” head honchos are taking issue with some of American Tower’s recent assessments, Neville Ray seems to agree with one thing.
There’s a lot more to come from T-Mo by the end of the year in terms of 5G
buildout, a detail indirectly confirmed by CFO Peter Osvaldik’s prediction of a “significant” boost in Q4 capital expenditures as well.
Setting up new cell tower sites tends to be considerably pricier than maintaining and updating “old” equipment, so it’s fairly obvious that T-Mobile will not stop at covering “just” 1.3
million square miles, more than 7,500 cities and towns, and 250 million people across the nation with continuously improving 5G technology