T-Mobile US CEO John Legere (pictured, left) hinted the advent of 5G could accelerate merger activity as operators seek scale to meet demand.
Speaking on the operator’s recent earnings call, Legere said reports the US government was considering constructing a nationalised 5G infrastructure was “a wake-up call” which made clear the magnitude of what needs to happen to ensure the US remains globally competitive.
He noted policy action to free up more spectrum and deliver siting assistance for new infrastructure are obvious steps. But Legere added the scalable capabilities needed for 5G changes the mathematics regarding “whether or not consolidation within players could be doable”.
In terms of potential partners, Legere said “nothing is off the table”, with deals between T-Mobile and fellow operators including Sprint and US Cellular, satellite players including Dish and cable companies Comcast and Charter all possible.
“It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” Legere concluded: “My belief is that the pace at which these things are thought about and are going on – and I’m not even going to touch content yet – I think it’s actually accelerating behind-the-scenes and will, I think, some of those things will happen sooner than most people think.”