T-Mobile US CEO John Legere (pictured) this week celebrated his five-year anniversary with the operator, but rather than taking a victory lap, Legere insisted there’s more work to be done to improve the industry.
“I look back at this with real pride. Not so much at what I’ve accomplished, but at what this team has done. My job has always been to unleash and empower – and I’ll tell you what, we are not done yet,” Legere wrote in a blog post.
According to Legere, the key lessons from T-Mobile’s transformation can be summed up as “shut up and listen” to customers and employees, stand for something, get out of the way so change can happen and share the rewards of success with customers and employees.
Legere’s tenure at T-Mobile saw the operator rise from the ashes, thanks in large part due to a 2013 “Un-carrier” rebranding effort and furious network improvements. He first made headlines at CES that year – watch Mobile World Live’s footage of his show-stealing appearance here.
The executive had arrived at T-Mobile in October 2012 shortly before the operator wrapped up its merger with prepaid wireless carrier MetroPCS. The rebrand followed in March 2013, which saw the operator drop contract agreements and introduce a fledgling LTE network. At the time, T-Mobile said it was hoping to bring LTE service to 100 million US residents by the middle of the year and 200 million by the close of 2013.
Subsequent Un-carrier moves have forced real change in the industry, most notably T-Mobile’s decision to scrap data tiers and offer only unlimited plans. The shift – and the ensuing price wars – pushed all three of T-Mobile’s major rivals to roll out unlimited offers of their own.
Four years later, T-Mobile is pressing on with its Un-carrier strategy, most recently adding free Netflix to its unlimited plans. T-Mobile’s LTE network now covers 315 million people across the US, and the operator is forging ahead with plans to deploy a nationwide mobile 5G network by 2020.
The second quarter of 2017 marked the 17th straight quarter T-Mobile posted more than 1 million net additions, including 786,000 branded post paid phone net additions.
Despite those figures, Legere said T-Mobile is “far from done.”
“This industry is far from where it needs to be, and its entire structure and landscape is changing. My team and I will be right there in the thick of the evolution of content – as everything goes mobile, and we will continue to drag the duopoly (yep, kicking and screaming) into treating their customers better and delivering more value,” he concluded.