Neville Ray and John Legere call out Verizon over 5G claims, touch on T-Mobile’s own 5G plans


Verizon recently teased its 5G plans, saying that it plans to begin trials this year with the plan of being the first with a 5G network in the US. T-Mobile hasn’t made any similar 5G announcements yet, but today it did call Verizon out on its claims.

During T-Mobile’s Q4 2015 earnings call, CTO Neville Ray said that Verizon is looking to change the game and focus on 5G “they’re under so much pressure from us from a network perspective” and that they’re “losing the LTE game very, very quickly.” Ray didn’t stop there. “I think folks have seen some of the early announcements and Verizon trying to move and say that they’re going to be the first to 5G, when it’s kind of B.S., to be honest,” the CTO said.

John Legere then piled on, with the T-Mobile CEO saying that Verizon and its network are “significantly under attack,” and so they’re trying to shift everyone’s focus to 5G. “That is pure horses***,” Legere said of Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam’s recent comment about a person attending a Super Bowl and getting a 50x speed increase on a consumer device in the audience.

T-Mobile also touched a bit on its own 5G plans. Neville Ray confirmed that T-Mobile will be running its own 5G trials both in the lab and in the field in 2016. Ray was quick to caution that there won’t be any real consumer benefit with 5G in a smartphone until around 2020. “I think we want to manage consumer expectations carefully, and make sure that folks understand that yeah, there’s going to be great 5G stuff with high speeds and really low latencies, but it’s going to be a while yet,” Ray said.

Ray also explained that T-Mobile has “significant spectrum holdings” in what they believe will end up being declared as 5G spectrum allocations. “We’re in a good spot,” the CTO said.

While 5G may still be years away from becoming something that most wireless consumers will benefit from, it makes sense that carriers would begin looking into the tech and experimenting with it. Carriers talking up their 5G plans and saying that they’ll be the first to 5G could get some folks excited and thinking that 5G networks are just a year or so away, though, and so T-Mobile is trying to temper that excitement by saying that widespread 5G access is still a ways off. That said, T-Mo is prepping for 5G by gathering up spectrum that it thinks will be useful to help it be ready when there are 5G standards and it’s time to begin rolling out a network.

Following Neville Ray and John Legere’s statements this morning, Verizon felt it was necessary to respond. The carrier gave a statement to FierceWireless in which it refers to T-Mobile as “the discount carrier”:

“Today the discount carrier announced they spent less than $5 billion improving their wireless network last year, while we invested $11.7 billion in our wireless network in 2015. You can choose the discount carrier’s LTE footprint which covers just 1.3 million square miles — or you can actually travel far and wide and be connected, because Verizon’s LTE network covers 2,385,306 million square miles.”

Sources: T-Mobile Q4 2015 earnings stream, FierceWireless

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  • Willie D

    I remember a time when T-Mobile claimed to be one of the first to the game with the Largest 4G Network In America- implying they had something like LTE in the works as they never called it HSPA+ at that time – and it performed as well as all other LTE networks at that time. Which was fantastic that their network could meet and exceed LTE, but my point is that T-Mobile can’t call another carrier out when it too was saying something similar a few years ago.

    • Jon

      “4g” doesn’t mean a thing. Neither does 5g. Don’t believe me? What is the technical definition of “5g”? What technologies are being deployed to meet that definition?

      • Trevnerdio

        My point exactly.

    • x

      People lie a lot and corporations lie constantly. Verizon talking about 5G when we know the technology is years away is a deception; I mean they could do their 5G tests if they think those are necessary without telling to the public about it, but who does that this days? Same for AT&T and now T-Mobile when they say they are gonna do tests as well.

      We can look to see who lied first, or we can just accept the reality.

      • Mike

        They’re all a bunch of liars…Snakes…

    • g2a5b0e

      At the time, LTE didn’t meet the standard that was originally set for 4G either. I don’t know the name of the governing body that decides these things, but the original definition of 4G was theoretical speeds of 1 Gbps or higher. If Verizon & the others could call LTE 4G back then, T-Mobile could stake the same claim. Their download speeds were just as fast. What were they suppose to do? Not feed into the marketing machine & get destroyed as a result? That’s just smart business.

      Eventually, the definition of 4G was changed to include all of the above anyway.

      • Trevnerdio

        3GPP, the Third Generation Partnership Project, is the governing body. IIRC, Theoretical highs while mobile with LTE are 1gbps and something amazing like 1.5+gbps while stationary.

    • badassn

      Didn’t Sprint start the 4G bandwagon with their abysmally slow Wimax? I’m pretty sure T-mobile had no choice but to start with 4G marketing as everyone else was doing so, and like you said, considering HSPA+ was easily the fastest on the market for a good amount of time.

  • steveb944

    Shots fired and Verizon shot back.

    AT&T also made announcements for 5G as well, so there’s really no need to call out anyone. Yes Verizon jumped the gun, and then the GSM carriers followed (doubt Sprint has anything to say).

    Were we going to be kept in the dark? Who knows and who cares as it’s far too early to talk about it.

  • Trevnerdio

    I guess the carriers forgot what the term “LTE” means. 4 years for a wireless technology that’s deemed “long-term” and is super expandable is not about to be finished.

    I know they’re all about the buzzwords, but 4G LTE is capable of nearly 1gbps. I have not seen one carrier achieve that, even at a test site, being the only one connected, and having load-balancing disabled. So no, 5G is not in the near future. 4G still has a very, very long way to go. I noticed that they said 2020, which is more reasonable, but still too soon.

    P.S. Verizon: 50 x 0.5 is still only 25. But go ahead, pat yourself on the back.

    • Willie D

      My guess is that Verizon is going to go LTE-Advanced with multi-carrier aggregation and call it “5G” like T-Mobile called HSPA+ (a 3G technology) 4G and promoted it as such.

      • Trevnerdio

        Probably. Which is only half the story. CA is a significant piece of LTE-A, but with that, you need substantially increased speeds.

      • x

        I think we as consumer should care more about actual speeds and not about what technology or what “generation” they want to sell us. But I know I’m asking too much, as if we were rational enough and with some say in the information or communication.

      • FILA

        Ha, yea Im sure, Verizon will built a LTE A network and promote it as 5G, where T will build an actual 5G network and promote it for what it really is. And yea, LTE can get alot faster, IDK why the rush on 5G, other then these companies feeling competition and thinking people will run for the 5G, which they probably will sadly :-/

      • Mike

        Yeah they all do crap like that. Buncha Politicians at the end of the day…

      • Slinga

        Why would you think verizon would do that? They have only advertised LTE=4G. That is something Att and t-mobile would do bc they have done it already with hspa+ and calling it 4g.

  • ucmee

    i might be confused, but wouldn’t your phone need a 5G antennae to take advantage of that?

    • nycplayboy78

      Nokia and Qualcomm already have antennae ready for 5G and they are working with the Japanese carrier DTT (Domoco Telecom) to roll out their 5G service for the 2020 Olympics…

      • Mike

        Key word 2020 like tmobile stated. No USA carrier has a phone that supports 5G and it won’t until at least 2020.

    • Mike

      Yeah no where close we are better offer concentrating in making what we have now better. LTE, extended range LTE, MIMO, etc.

  • Walt

    Hopefully t-mobile deploys 5G on the 600mhz band. We dont need 4G on 600mhz when 5G would be ready to go in 2020

    • Jay Holm

      Likely 5G will require a ton of Carrier Aggregation!!!

    • Isaiah

      T Mobile is not going to put 5G on low band considering majority of their devices by then would support LTE/VOLTE so low band would be used for LTE/VOLTE for low signal areas. Since LTE/VOLTE will be usable for the foreseeable future I do not see that kind of a change anytime soon. They would use their 1700/2100 and or their 1900 frequencies depending on the area you live in for 5G so rural areas will not see any 5G from T Mobile anytime soon unless T Mobile builds or leases existing towers to provide service on their higher frequency’s.

  • x

    I see it as a necessary response from T-Mobile to Verizon’s 5G talk, just like the expensive “drop balls” ad was a necessary response to the deceptive “balls” ad from Verizon.

    The truth is that, T- Mobile has a lot of work to do.

    Now, is this claim accurate: “You can choose the d******** carrier’s LTE footprint which covers just 1.3 million square miles — or you can actually travel far and wide and be connected, because Verizon’s LTE network covers 2,385,306 million square miles.”

  • Sushimane

    Like always verizon can be the first to bring 5g but tmobile will be the fastest and reliable.

  • Mirad77

    The thing is being the first at marketing stunt doesn’t quite hold for actual product. Veri$on is yet to put out a steady flow of 4G LTE speed but they already move to some crapy marketing campaign they called XLTE. Now they are on to 5G. What do they say, putting a lipstick on a pig?

    • Ea

      Do you know what xlte consists of? And why it could be used in marketing?

      • Jay Holm

        No different than T-Mobile’s Wideband LTD really…

      • Mirad77

        Do tell….

  • Sandi Bhatt

    This is hilarious… Verizon’s LTE network covers 2,385,306 million square miles. Area of the United States ~3.8 million square miles. Area of earth ~ 197 million square miles. Looks like Verizon is including their coverage in UrAnus too, and more :)

    • x

      They are saying 1.3 million square miles of T-Mobile’s coverage against 2,385,306 square miles of Verizon’s.

      • Mike

        It may be a case where x carrier is using miles while the other is using kilometers lol. Buncha monkeys they should just shut it and work on their respective networks.

      • ummduh

        No, they’re pointing out 1.3 million vs VZW saying 2 million, three hundred eighty five thousand, three hundred and six MILLION square miles. I’m not even sure how to quantify 2 million million of anything.

        It’s like people that write down things are .99 cents, when they mean 99 cents. (ninety nine hundredths of a cent, vs 99 cents)

        • x

          Yes I know, but come on, who are we kidding?! They meant 2.3 million. :)

          What I would like to know is if those are today’s numbers or Verizon is using outdated numbers again, which is probably the case, or they are probably using the same “measurement” they did for their coverage maps. You want to know what am I talking about? Search this at reddit dot com: “We Assessed the Accuracy of Wireless Coverage Maps per Carrier, and the Results Disappoint”

        • ssjchaseutley

          Freshly made accounts with Verizon employees behind them. Classy.

    • x

      … It’s funny you’ve noticed that. Looks like T-Mobile fans have decided to ignore it entirely, I wonder why?

    • Mike

      All these numbers are mostly marketing bs anyway. I really don’t care about x carrier as long as I have service in all areas possible And please don’t consider an EDGE connection service because even my Commodore 64C with my 1200 Bps modem is faster and more usable.

  • FILA

    Im ok with LTE at speeds of 50Mbps down right now, with hope and evidence for higher then 100 down like people have seen. Thats faster then my home network.

    • Mike

      I’m ok with having a usable LTE signal period regardless of whether the speed is 20 Mbps or 100Mbps it ain’t going to make much of a difference with what me and most people are doing with their phones.

  • mingkee

    The benefit of 5G is much more capacity over limited spectrum.

  • EA

    I worked for tmo as part of the network engineering team, 11 years…I will say they have amazing speeds but leave a major city and you have nothing but edge… Crap coverage even with the 700mhz out of the urban area… Now I work for vzw doing the same job.. I will say the speeds are comparable but what will blow your mind is that you could be on top of a mountain in the middle of no where and still have 4glte coverage with Verizon… Try driving anywhere using g maps with t mobile… Doesn’t work… Works with Verizon though, everywhere… And the talk about 5g is very accurate… Being on the inside on both sides I will only say this… Tmo has yet to recover the amount of money spent launching LTE, it’s current upgrades plus buying spectrum just to compete… They don’t have any for what is necessary to launch 5g…5g will require a different style network to some extent….unfortunately for tmo, Verizon has the money, network and infrastructure…one last thing, 5g will revolutionize the media/entertainment industry.. Let’s just say that

    • Adrayven

      riight… mister ex-tmo engineer … So you know what they have and they just flat out lied in this meeting? I don’t think so.. They are not nearly as stupid as you just made yourself look.

      • Spanky

        Yup. Only T-Mobile speaks the truth. Everyone else lies.

        • Mike

          The carriers are like Politicians they all lie at one point….

        • Spanky

          I was being extremely facetious. ;)

    • Chilehead

      Thanks for sharing. I’m quite happy on T_Mo’s network here in the burbs where I spend 99.9% of my life with more than acceptable bandwidth on my $20 per mo. unlimited data plan.

      • Jay Holm

        I agree, Verizon is way, way overrated!!!

    • Jay Holm

      I can’t even begin to imagine how much 5G will revolutionize everything!!! But if Tmo would combine 600, 700, 850, and 1900 all with carrier aggregation, 5G is most definitely achievable. Also about a year or so ago I did read that the FCC wants to free up some 400mhz, I don’t have a clue how much or when though. What mobile tech is going to be like in 2020 is very, very hard to imagine, OLEDs will revolutionize things, processor’s will be below 7nm’s, and wireless networks will be capable of hundreds of megabits/p.s., if not multiple gigabits by 2020. . .

      • kgraham182

        5G will be using 28Ghz and 38Ghz freq. AT&T already has a license for 28Ghz and Verizon is arguing using 37Ghz and 39Ghz. This is why T-Mobile needs to move fast, cause the good bandwidth will get snatched up fast by Dumb & Dumber.

        • Thorhand

          28 Ghz?? That’s only good enough to cover a room?? For comparison, my wireless router at 2.4 Ghz can only cover my house.

        • kgraham182

          The reason your router can only cover your house is due to it’s transmissioning power. ATT and and Verizon will have high power antennas

        • Thorhand

          Interesting. Thanks for the info.

        • Trevnerdio

          Like kgraham said, cell towers put out about 100W. Your router? Probably 500mW. And cell towers are way, way higher up than any home.

    • Mike

      Yep Tmobile has plenty of work to do. You know they kind of remind me of Trump, the guy never shuts his mouth and most of what he says is non sense. Tmobile would be better off with their mouth shut and spending every penny they can on their network rather than stupid Ads.

      • Chilehead

        T-Mobile is a business not a charity. Would you stop marketing if this were your company? Seems to be paying off as well.
        p.s. Their ads are much better than they used to be.

      • Legere is making T-Mobile Great Again.

        • edfranco1

          Sounds like a Trump line.

        • Trevnerdio

          That’s the point lol

      • gmo8492

        They have $10 billion to spend on spectrum, their advertising budget and their network enhancements are two totally different things.T-Mobile needs to continually add more customers to increase its revenue. So investing heavily in advertising is essential, and for the most part their marketing campaign is paying off. Funny you mention Trump since Legere and him both hate each other.

    • A|E

      I’m wishing Everyday I can travel around in a strange place so I can have a Verizon phone/network cause my life is kind of boring driving in the city all year round.
      So I have to stick with discount carrier watching movies all day long.

      • x

        That’s sad, both ways.

        Both ways?!


      • Android_God

        Wow dude you took what he said VERY PERSONALLY. Does your choice in mobile service provider define you as a person?

        • Chilehead

          Pot meet kettle.

    • Thanks, EA. We’ve only discussed half-baked T-Mo coverage 7,459 times already. Now it’s 7,460.

    • TmoHTC4ever

      I feel that you like VZW are exaggerating their coverage. I worked for VZW in the past and I can tell you their noses are unfathomably high in the air as if their precious network covered the entire solar system. I was also a VZW customer for 2 years, a customer who traveled frequently. If you’ve ever been in rural Michigan or Mississippi you’d find PLENTY of areas where you are stuck on fake 3G connections with no actual data throughput. There were also COUNTLESS areas where I couldn’t even make a 911 call if life depended on it as in “NO SERVICE”! 4G coverage maps from all carriers are horse shit.

      I’m not saying T-mobile doesn’t have poor rural coverage in some areas just like verizon in some areas, because we all know they do. However VZW will absolutely do NOTHING to help you if you are in the MANY areas of the state with garbage coverage while TMO offered me many options and incentives to remain a customer.

      I’ve had the displeasure of using all 4 Carriers, they ALL had their problems, but I’ll take Tmobile over the others any day, at least they have done a good job making me feel wanted and appreciated as a customer. Verizon made it feel like I was privileged to be on their ever so perfect network, and I was made to let everyone know how much “better” that VZW was in every category when I worked for them.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      You forgot to mention that tmobile doesn’t strictly mobile. Veriozn does cable, Internet and mobile and has been around longer so they have a advantage…. same with AT&T…… so your comparison is nearly null and void

    • ssjchaseutley

      Weird how Verizon shills float around on Tmobile sites. Sorta sad.

    • edfranco1

      I call your identity and post bull.

    • gmo8492

      I find it perplexing that a corporation that brags about its coverage cowers in fear when people mention unlimited data. Then they use a very weak argument that their superior network couldn’t handle unlimited data users. They offer little to no incentive to join them unless having optimal coverage is a priority over everything else. Verizon just likes to hoard spectrum, I have doubts they will do anything with it besides stifle competition in the wireless industry.

  • Mike

    If I was Tmobile I would just keep my mouth shut! How about getting your darn EDGE towers upgraded to LTE first Tmobile. Forget about about 5G, it will be a long time before there are consumer handsets that support it and networks built for it. So lets concentrate on the task at hand such as upgrading the remaining towers to LTE and add extended range LTE everywhere possible. Thank you.

    • kgraham182

      T-Mobile said they would be keeping GSM up until 2020 cause there’s still services that rely on it. While AT&T is trying to move services that rely on GSM over to LTE.

    • Android_God

      I like how they put on their tin foil hats and acted as if Verizon talking about 5G was a conspiracy

  • Carlos

    What’s the point of those speeds when you have data caps.

    • Data caps –> overages.

    • NardVa

      Good point. Data consumption will increase with 5G speeds.

      • x

        And with tethering people will use WISPs for their homes internet. Therefore, the only way forward should be selling data speed and data amount. Something like: 50GBs at 50Mbps for $50. Just a thought. :)

    • Adam

      By the time 5G comes out, I predict data plans will be in the 200-500Gbyte range.

      • peharri

        They’ve been hovering around the “$10-25 buys you 1G-10G” price point for about ten years now. I think part of the reason for Binge On, Music Freedom, etc, is T-Mobile wanting to stick with those hard caps.

        Why they (and Sprint, and Verizon, et al) wants to is anyone’s guess. They have more capacity than ever, yet are terrified of us using it…

  • Mike

    Well thank god Tmobile is in a good spot spectrum wise for 5G as they say because on everything else sprectrum wise they are still mostly in pigs shit. I wish them luck with the current auction but there’s a lot of hands in the pot.

  • Android_God

    John is what would happen if Wendy Williams and Alex Jones had a child.

  • mardc12vdc

    “…2,385,306 million square miles.”
    Wow 2.3 million million miles, what’s that 2.3 trillion dang.

  • Frankwhitess

    Am curious…………………….. If Verizon spent sooo much money on there network, have the best Network on earth, they brag about having a Amazing network that even works under water and can do all these magical things,…..

    Then why don’t they offer Unlimited data ?? After all, they claim to have the best network and spend a boat load of money on there network…. Exactly what are they spending on the network ?? With a Network so powerful as they claim, one would think that it can handle just about anything…

    I am just curious..

    • Jrunner

      … and if they’re so great, why do they drop calls so often? And why did my parents have to get AT&T a few years ago in my hometown in michigan because they were exactly halfway between towers and used to drop all the time? Their tagline should be, Verizon- best footprint, especially if outdoors and not indoors, but not all areas created equal and grid spacing of the towers not always the best.

      • Blink8533

        Few years ago are the key words

    • kev2684

      because overage fees are what their shareholders want.

  • ssjchaseutley

    “Discount carrier”

    I don’t think…that’s an insult. I mean, if it is, are they trying to say poor people go to TMobile? I really don’t get it.

  • Drewski

    Sorry to break the news to you guys here, but MetroPCS was the first to actually come out with LTE, Voice over LTE, Advanced Messaging and Video Messaging in the USA country, before anyone else did. Go T-Mobile-MetroPCS

  • Mike

    Verizon must see tmo as a threat or they would be keeping their mouth shut. Verizon may be king of the heap for now but all indications are that tmo will be rising to that spot soon. People don’t want to pay a frigging fortune for cell and data service. Every network has warts and bumps in coverage so why pay Verizon extra if the “discount” network works better?

    • kgraham182

      It’s okay to be a fanboy, but be real. T-Mobile is not catching Verizon’s 137.5 million subscriber count anytime soon. Dumb and Dumber are literally in a league of there own. T-Mobile is the king on the minor league though. Hold off on the T-Mobile is taking over until they are in the same ballpark.

      • drago10029

        you think it’s about subscribers, you don’t understand what matters on a network then.

  • Mir

    Geography Statistics of United States Of America. Land Area: Land: 3,537,436 sq. miles (9,161,923 sq km) Water: 181,274 sq. miles (469,497 sq km). Guess Verizon covers almost all of the USA.