T-Mobile CEO to cable: Welcome, and get ready to get your ass kickedThe outspoken executive stops by CNET to talk about unlimited data and share his thoughts on Google and cable companies entering the wireless business.
[MUSIC] Welcome back to CNet stage at [UNKNOWN] 2017. Joining me now is a very special guest, T-Mobile CEO John Ledger. Great to be here. Thanks for being here. You're a star, Roger. I'm not, please. Fans waving in there. They're taking selfies with you, not me, trust me. [LAUGH] Roger, Roger. So you just wrapped up the T-mobile press. For the folks who didn't get to go, why don't you run through the announcements that you made for our T-Mobile One? Yeah, well, we did a couple of things. First fall, and you've been a part of it, four years ago today, we announced the un-carrier. And so did a little re capturing of how much the world has changed. 155 million people no longer have contracts, all that crazy crap you used to know about free devices, all overages. So we captured kinda what's going on and then I actually announced Q4 results, cuz I wanted people to know how well things are going. 2.1 million net additions. 1.2. million post paid 933,000 post paid phones and 541,000 prepaid. So- Get into some of the new stuff. Easy for you to say get on to the new. And then what we did we had discussed the fact that the world and mobile Internet has changed. It requires new rules. So amongst the rule were, what you see should be what you pay. Okay. So with the first wireless carry on the postpaid decide to go all in taxes and fees. So that's $40 a line, period, for a family of four. And then we announced something called Kick Back. Right. And what it is is, if you don't use it We should pay you for it, so in effect, additional line on T. mobile one are $20. But if you use two gigs or less, we'll give you $10 back. We also extend to the uncontract, T. mobile one unlimited, which means we will never raise your rate we guarantee. And lastly, what we kind of said is Internet mobile access shouldn't be sold in the bit and bite. So I announced it as of January 22nd. We're going all in on T-Mobile 1 and all we're going to sell is T-Mobile 1 unlimited. So I want to jump in on that because when you first did that, you made that announcement in the summer on carrier 12. T-Mobile 1 would be the one plan for you guys. You got a lot of Backlash for that, you got a lot of heat, folks weren't really happy with it. The cynical folks would say well you're eliminating the cheap plan for folks who don't use that data. So in effect, is this sort of your way of addressing some of those concerns? This is going to take some time for people to realize that it's not trickery. Right? Because, in effect, let's suppose somebody was a low-end user, minimal data plan. Suppose they paid $50. That plan, with taxes and fees, is more than you would ultimately get if you were a low user and you bought one line on T-Mobile ONE and got kickbacks. So, in effect, $40 a line. Let me give you one piece that's cool. Verizon, see I love Verizon. It's kind of the same colors. Their XXL plan. That's kind of like the me size plan. It's $110 a month. But the bill says $210.70. Because it's part of the industry of the United States has $17 billion worth of fees that aren't part of what's advertised, so it's a big deal. How does that work though? The taxes and fees aren't under your control, right? Taxes and fees can actually go up or taxes can go up. State local taxes. Right, so in effect What we're doing with this, we're not raising price, so voila! Everybody will save money. Now we anticipated this when we announced T-Mobile One. And we are not raising prices. And we are investing this money. These fees don't go away, USF sales, etc, etc. We're gonna pay them, investing in our customers. And that's what makes us the fastest growing wireless company in America. Well, moving on, you made some other bold predictions, one of which I found very interesting, was Google. Yeah. One of the big players entering the wireless business. What makes you think some of these guys are gonna get in there? So, the people weren't there. I decided at the end, just make a few predictions. Like No big surprise that the cable players are coming into wireless. Right. So Comcast and Charter are coming in with an MVNO. And what I predicted is MV, no. It's not gonna work. Nobody's buying that crap. The Verizon MVNO is not gonna provide them the ability to compete with us. And those monopolists They don't know how to compete, so welcome on in, your gonna get your **** kicked. Now, then I said the mobile internet space is huge. So if you have Facebook, your Apple, your Amazon, your Google, you're gonna sit down and watch Somebody is coming in the big way and I picked Google. I mean they got Google Fi, they've got pixel, they got androids. So, I don't know. I'm not clairvoyant. I say they're coming in and by the way come on in. So I had a few other. That's a thing that Google is a big company of the huge brand. Right? I mean, why wouldn't you be nervous by a Google. Competing against Google. Right now Google is wireless, it's called Project Fi. Right, and you guys are a partner with them. Yeah, of course. Listen, I think what you learned from the uncarative the last four years is if you focus on your customers and give them that want you shouldn't be shocked when they love it. And there's nothing Google has to offer. Accept a whole shitload of money. You can't say that on this thing, can you? You can say it. Boatload. We'll bleep it later. But no, bring them on in. And by the way, remember, with T-Mobile, we do mobile very well. And the industry's gonna change. I'm not saying we won't be a part of some of these things. Right? We may find a way using our brand and capability to deliver. Right now, last thing I'll say this. Don't you think it's crazy that the industries are defined by the infrastructure that they built? So it's the cable industry, the wireless industry, the Internet industry. I got news for you, these folks with their devices could care less. They want all of you to get your shoot together and then figure out how to let them watch whatever they want, whatever they want, wherever. So bring it together. It's all coming together. So, I want to ask and I asked you this at the press conference. Yeah. Are you looking forward to president elect Trump? Well, listen, so far there's a lot of anticipation about an environment of less regulation. Right. Potentially lower tax environment, the ability to invest more. Some of the restrictions that have been put on us, there is a lot of expectation that we'll be freer to compete. Certainly the markets have been quite responsive to a lot of his initial ideas. And I would tell you that I'm quite optimistic about the economic environment. And I'm planning in 17 to invest heavily in growing the business. And I wouldn't do that unless I was feeling good. Made peace after your little Twitter feud? I don't see anything as a Twitter feud. The issue for me is, I've always been outspoken on Twitter. So has President-elect Trump. And we did, at one point in time, what two people that play on Twitter do. Only for other people is that seen as Abnormal. Somebody tweets, you tweet back. By the way, I would say before he came along and did what he's doing on Twitter, I was like, pretty good Twitter guy. That guy's got game. He's not, he gets up and does his, gee, that's a big deal. That's debatable. [LAUGH] I actually think he's using social media communications in a way That no one's ever seen before, and I know because I do it similarly myself. I mean, yeah, I would argue that you, from a business perspective- I might use it again you, there. See Roger, I can, [LAUGH] I can tweet about you. Please Please don't- Yeah, I have photos. Please don't. Just say it! I know you do. You have yellow shoes on, which is kinda annoying to me. Laker yellow by the way- Yeah, okay. Not Sprint yellow- Yeah, doesn't matter. Just wanted to be clear. Okay. No look, it leads me to my next question. Cuz Trump is all of a sudden very bff with [UNKNOWN] who's [UNKNOWN], Sprint parent company, do you see a Sprint, T-Mobile down the line. First of all let's not trivialize [UNKNOWN] to just being Sprint. This is where the wealthiest most powerful guy in the world. And he made a $50 billion investment, 50 thousand jobs commitment to President elect Trump that's a big deal and should be a flooded. What kept in to that is, what's gonna happen on the enviroment United States and as I said. Sprint needs to do something. And you know, some people are asking, is there a possibility? Yeah, there's a possibility of any different kind of consolidation. There's also a possibility that a cable company would buy Sprint. There's gonna be change. It's gonna be fantastic. And right now it's certainly It's created a lot of enthusiasm around the industry. Yeah, certainly the telecom companies have been pretty happy about it. I don't know if everyone's happy about it, but- Yeah, everybody except CNET, I mean here, Roger. [LAUGH] Come on, look at you, you're a star here. This is great. I'm not a star, please stop saying that. Yeah. So it wouldn't be a video interview without the word association game. Of course. I wanna end it with that. So I'll throw out a couple of words, please give me the first word that comes up to your mind. All right, AT&T. ****. Verizon- You can't say that! Verizon. Okay, dumber. Sprint. Yellow. Google. Big. Unlimited. Only at T-Mobile. [LAUGH] What about Sprint? No, they're like? but it doesn't work. [LAUGH] Alright, last, Ben Affleck. Batman. Alright, pretty good.