John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile
Over the last few months, I’ve been writing a lot about the New T-Mobile and the various ways a supercharged Un-carrier will benefit American consumers and businesses. I’ve also been doing a lot of listening. After all, we built this Un-carrier revolution by listening to others and then acting decisively. So why would we approach this merger any differently? As we’ve made our case for the New T-Mobile, we’ve been listening to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and many others. Today, we took some action on those discussions, and we submitted a set of commitments to the FCC around the New T-Mobile to address what we’ve heard. We listen and we take action. It’s who we are.
Let me be clear. These aren’t just words… they’re verifiable, enforceable and specific commitments that bring to life how the New T-Mobile will deliver a world-leading nationwide 5G network – truly 5G for all, create more competition in broadband, and continue to give customers more choices, better value and better service.
I particularly want to thank Chairman Pai for his statement of support for these commitments and our merger – as well as his ongoing leadership to help ensure our country is a leader, not a follower, in the 5G era. We look forward to continuing to meet and work with a variety of important stakeholders to demonstrate the powerful benefits the New T-Mobile will bring – but today’s filing is at the center of our plans to bring 5G to American consumers. Ultimately, today’s commitments are about our shared goal to put the U.S. at the forefront of 5G innovation, driving massive economic growth, helping bridge the Digital Divide, creating more competition, and of course, giving consumers and businesses more for less. The commitments we’re making today help advance all of these goals! It is that simple.
Specific Enforceable Commitments to Deliver 5G for All
First, we’ve committed to key milestones we’ll hit as we build out 5G for ALL – both on a nationwide scale and specifically for rural America. We’ve laid out aggressive targets for this supercharged 5G network. In three years, we’ve committed that the New T-Mobile will cover 97% of the U.S. population with 5G on low-band spectrum and 75% of the population with 5G on mid-band spectrum. That will grow to 99% of the U.S. population covered with low-band 5G in six years and 88% with mid-band 5G.
This is critically important because it ensures that this country will have broad AND deep nationwide 5G utilizing both mid and low band spectrum, which will deliver a radically better, more expansive experience than the status quo. This should also force Verizon and AT&T to re-evaluate their 5G strategies and accelerate their investment and 5G deployment.
We also established milestones to cover 85% of rural America with 5G on low-band spectrum in three years and 90% in six years. We set targets for the number of people with access to equal or greater than 100 Mbps and 50 Mbps average download speeds (hint: it’s a lot… 90% and 99% of the country’s population respectively in six years, and we even outlined how we’ll verify those speeds with drive tests!).
We’ve also made clear commitments around in-home broadband. I’ve said before that we are going to “Un-carrier” broadband, and that’s what we’re going to do. Because this is one of the most un-competitive industries in the country – and the least customer-friendly! Almost half the country’s households—45% – have no high-speed service or only one option to choose from. The numbers are worse for rural households, 76% of which have no high-speed service or only one choice available.
With our nationwide 5G network, we can change this dynamic! So, we made real commitments to offer in-home broadband to a specific number of households across the U.S., including in rural areas, in very specific timeframes.
I believe we will nail all of these goals – nationwide 5G, rural 5G and in-home broadband! We are so confident in our ability to follow through that we are willing to put our money where our mouth is by committing to specific measures that will hold us accountable… You see, if we don’t meet these milestones, we’ll pay until we do. These are tangible commitments that we are happy to be held to. Why? Because when we say we’ll do something, we mean it.
And we believe in transparency on all of this, so we’ll give an annual report card to the FCC to show our progress.
This clear set of specific, enforceable commitments reinforces our plans and bring them to life – and show what I’ve been saying all along: this 5G network will make a huge difference for millions of Americans across the entire country.
An Independent Path for Boost
Another area of FCC feedback we heard is around the prepaid business. In response, we have committed to divest Sprint’s Boost pre-paid business to a third party following the closing of the merger. We’ll work to find a serious, credible, financially capable and independent buyer for all the assets needed to run – and grow – the business, and we’ll make sure that buyer has attractive wholesale arrangements. This is an exciting opportunity for Boost employees and customers with a buyer bringing the ability to invest in the brand and the opportunity to run on the supercharged New T-Mobile network!
We have always chosen to serve pre-paid customers. To give hardworking people everywhere the wireless they deserve. Wireless they can be proud of. It’s part of who we are to offer underserved communities more choice and value in wireless. That’s a big part of why we’ve been able to more than double the size of Metro since 2013. We aren’t backing down from that commitment – at all – and we plan to compete aggressively in pre-paid with Metro and Virgin in the years ahead.
Same or Better Prices!
Now this one, I’ve said before, and we’ve already put our commitment in writing to the FCC. The commitment still stands. The New T-Mobile will deliver the same or better rate plans at the same or better prices for three years. And that includes 5G. Period.
But I’m not quite done yet… when we combine the Sprint and T-Mobile networks, we’re going to create a 5G network with 8x more capacity by 2024 than Sprint or T-Mobile standalone today. We’re going to want MVNO partners to help put all that capacity to use, and today’s commitments also address that. We want to work with a whole community of partners to utilize all the capacity this deal will unlock!
are going to bring 5G to every corner of this country and challenge the
failing status quo that has left millions of Americans with too few options and
too little value, tolerating terrible treatment and believing it can’t change.
It can change, and the New T-Mobile can provide the competition to change it.
The New T-Mobile will be a disruptive rival with the resources to go toe-to-toe
with established behemoths to drive competition and innovation that benefits
That’s what today’s news is about, and that’s why I’m more excited than ever about the difference the New T-Mobile will make in millions of peoples’ lives. I look forward to continuing to make the case for the New T-Mobile in the days and weeks ahead with all of the key stakeholders!