T-Mobile USA CEO plays down importance of MetroPCS merger

In an interview published on the Deutsche Telekom website, the new CEO of T-Mobile USA, John Legere, has played down the importance of the company’s merger with MetroPCS.

Although the T-Mobile USA/MetroPCS deal attracted media attention when it was first announced, it has largely been overshadowed by Softbank’s planned acquisition of Sprint.

“It’s not do or die,” said Legere when asked about the importance of the T-Mobile USA/MetroPCS deal’s success.

In the interview Legere defended the fall in parent company Deutsche Telekom’s stock price since the deal was announced, blaming it on speculation and activity in the market.

He also took time to explain some of the spectrum synergies expected from the merger. “We will have significant LTE spectrum capacity in most major cities in the United States. I'm talking about being clearly superior to AT&T and Sprint.”

Legere insisted that the deal would not be the same as the Sprint Nextel debacle where the two company’s networks were incompatible as it has nothing to do with network integration.

He also appeared to rule out any job cuts at the new entity and when asked if was preparing for a counterbid following reported interest from Sprint, said: “I am not going to spend too much time speculating.”

The MetroPCS deal was described as accelerating T-Mobile’s Challenger strategy to be a value leader in the US market and Legere hinted that the company would soon be offering the iPhone, the lack of which had arguably held T-Mobile USA back in the past.

Finally, Legere took a stab at rival Sprint and said that T-Mobile would set a target to catch up to and surpass the third ranked mobile operator. “Sprint’s network capabilities are so clearly inferior to ours. Our brand is strong and getting stronger. Our brand image is younger and edgier and we know that appeals to the marketplace.”