“Services are going to be broadened, prices are going to go down, speeds are going to go up. If you liked the competition before, you’re going to love what’s coming with this one,” says Legere. Moving on to 5G, he said, “We are behind. It’s the early innovation cycle of 5G. We are behind China. This is not something we can allow.” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure agreed: “The U.S. needs to lead in 5G. The only way to lead 5G is by combining Sprint and T-Mobile. AT&T cannot do it. Verizon cannot do it.”
Verizon’s McAdam disagrees. He estimated a merged T-Mobile and Sprint will take two years to get up and running, and Verizon will make the most out of that time. He summarized his feelings by saying, “I don’t think the merger matters from a 5G perspective.”
It’s not the first time Verizon has talked up its 5G prowess. At a telecoms conference in March, Verizon Wireless president Ronan Dunne said the carrier would deliver the best service in 5G, like it had done with 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE. “That’s one thing you can be absolutely certain about. Everything else will be fake news,” he’s quoted as saying. Like Verizon, AT&T also plans a limited launch of 5G in several U.S. cities this year.