T-Mobile CEO John Legere makes his predictions for 2017


It’s the start of a new year, and just like he has the past couple of years, T-Mobile CEO John Legere has laid out his predictions for the coming 12 months.

Legere’s first prediction for 2017 is that cable companies will try to enter wireless through MVNO deals, but that they’ll fail. Legere adds that because of this, T-Mobile will not get into any MVNO deals with cable companies.

Cable companies are the only ones that’ll try to get into wireless in 2017, Legere suggests, as he thinks that “a MAJOR new player will jump in and shake up US wireless in a MAJOR way.” The T-Mo CEO specifically guesses that Google will “go for the mobile moonshot.” Google offers wireless service through Project Fi, which runs on the T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular networks, but Legere appears to think that Google will take things a step farther in 2017.

Sticking with the topic of other companies, Legere thinks that Dish will be no more this year after it missed its opportunity to enter wireless using its supply of spectrum.

Moving on to television shows, Legere predicts that the majority of TV watching will happen on mobile by the end of 2017. More than one-third of TV viewing happens on something other than a TV, Legere says, with that number jumping to 50 percent for people under 25. And T-Mo’s CEO expects those numbers to continue to grow.


The second TV-related prediction from Legere is that content built for OTT and mobile consumption, like his Slow Cooker Sunday show, will pass cable channels in number of viewers. Specifically, Legere thinks that his Slow Cooker Sunday show will get a weekly audience of 1 million viewers by the end of 2017. The show currently pulls in more than 500,000 viewers each week.

Rounding out John’s 2017 predictions are gigabit LTE speeds, which T-Mobile touts that it’s nearly achieved in lab testing; a wireless CEO shuffle that’ll see three of the four current CEOs exiting their positions this year; and merger discussions between Verizon and Comcast as a way to help Comcast get into wireless.


While John didn’t make any specific predictions about T-Mobile’s network, it seems likely that T-Mo will continue to build out its LTE coverage in 2017. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said yesterday that T-Mo plans to cover 320 million POPs with LTE in 2017, up from the 313 million covered at the end of 2016. Ray also said that T-Mobile currently reaches 251 million people with its Extended Range LTE coverage and that that number will grow in the first half of 2017.

So what do you think of all these predictions? Do you have any that you’d like to add?

Source: T-Mobile

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  • Josh Schoonover

    It still amazes me just how rapidly they’ve expanded the network in just a few short years. The prospect of that being the year end coverage map is so very exciting!

    • Mark Kendrick

      I’m amazed myself by the improvement in their network in just the last year. I tried TMO last year for a couple of months but bailed because the service wasn’t very good, a year later and I’m quite satisfied

    • Edward Ward

      Over the past year I have seen my coverage improve tremendously, to the point where I now have coverage on par with my wife who is Verizon loyal.

  • Jason Caprio

    Those are some nice coverage predictions. I’ll believe it when I see it. I hope to see the day when T-Mobile ties/beats Verizon in rootmetrics, then I’ll switch back! I’m rooting for T-Mobile all the way!

  • Cellphone Chris

    The cable MVNO thing isn’t a prediction, it’s already been announced. Those that know what I’m talking about understand that a merger between Verizon and Comcast seems highly unlikely.

    • a d00d

      With Republicans in control of all 3 houses (Capitol Hill House, Senate, and White House), this merger is very much a possibility. In fact, depending on how fast they change things, I could even call it certain.

      Evil attracts Evil, after all. And I wonder how many board members are shared?

      Of course, we’ll all suffer for it, along with a TMo merger, but that’s the way it goes. At least we should be rid of Obamacare…

      • Acdc1a

        We have no idea what is to come. A Republican wasn’t elected President, a populist was. If popular opinion is against the idea, it doesn’t go through. If it’s well sold to the public, it will.

  • Linx

    I can’t see myself on any other carrier than T-Mobile right now.

    • Richard Roma

      That’s interesting, I’m on the opposite end where I feel like evaluating other options. I don’t like this One only push at all.

    • Jay Holm

      This coming April I will have been with T-Mobile for 4 full years. Very happy customer.

  • Walt

    Get ride of the 3G hspa and use that spectrum for LTE. Keep 2G edge for all the flip phones and m2m

    • Andrew Singleton

      keeping any 2g is a horrible idea. tmo’s new flip phone is LTE.

      • a d00d

        Andrew, you need to re-read about IoT in the article earlier in the week.

        Walt, the problem is that many of the IoT resellers have been nudging these guys onto 3G as a cheaper measure than going directly to LTE as most companies only think of the short haul (bottom line for this quarter or year only) versus the long haul (let someone else pay for it). Plus there are a huge number of 3G handsets still in use, especially from other, poorer countries or rural carriers in this one who refuse to upgrade, likely because they can’t afford it.

        2G will be with us a few more years, and 3G probably until the mid 2020’s at the earliest. Then again, with some of the fancy on-the-fly spectrum shuffling these new software-defined radio systems can do, it has been pointed out by others that, at least in an advanced network like TMo’s, they may NEVER go away completely!

        • Andrew Singleton

          i guess i always assumed that IoT would prefer to use a sliver of a much wider LTE band than take full advantage of a 2g band for universality purposes. i work in the northern colorado market where t-mobile completely refarmed 1900mhz and caused thousands of peoples phones to work in about 12 the places they used to. they had a pilot program to assist in the exchange of devices for a while and many flip phone users were not happy!

  • Nobody Special

    I predict after January 22nd @ The deadline for simple choice subscribers to switch to t-mobile one and get the tax included deal …. t-mobile will come up with a new incentive to trick the remaining simple choice subscribers to come to the darkside “T-Mobile One”…. the saga continues.

    • nearvanaman

      I sort of rolled my eyes at T-Mo One because I typically use 1.5 to 3.0 gigs a month. But my 6GB plan, with taxes, costs me $75 a month. This “new” T-Mo One incentive will cost me a maximum of $70 and, sometimes, $60. I know the point is to get people on to the One plan and it’s hard to see a downside of doing this if they are never going to offer tiered plans again.

      • Acdc1a

        For you it’s a no-brainer. I have 5 lines on ONE and Leger is right, it’s nice not to try to count GB.

      • AJ2

        What Tmo has failed to realize with the Tmo One plans is that most people still use 2gb or less. The $10 ‘back’ is a nice marekting ploy that I guess will make the plan a $60. If you use a Nexus or Pixel, Project Fi would still be cheaper. I see all these ads for $40 a line but thats only if you buy 4 lines. If they’d offer something for single customers, Id give Tmobile a try again as its the only one of the big 4 Ive ever had before switching to MVNOs. I dont care about a free Subway sandwich or some coupon to a product Idont want. If you can give a family of 4 free lines, you surely can do a promotion to offer single people a break

        • Jay Holm

          If all people use is 2GB’s or less, what is the point in have a $500-$700+ smartphone? That’s like having a $20k car and driving lessons than 20 miles total per day, if I go no where but to work and back home that would be nearly 26 miles total in one day. I just don’t understand what the purpose is having a $500-$700 device and only use a measly 2gigs in a 30 day period.

        • TJ Ninneman

          It’s called Wi-Fi. There is Wifi coverage almost everywhere these days.

        • Jay Holm

          Are you blind to the fact that wifi is SECURED nearly everywhere???

        • TJ Ninneman

          Not in my area. Honestly just about every bar, restaurant and grocery/department store has it.

  • John Doe

    I don’t think Dish will end in 2017. They have Sling TV and Charlie Ergen isn’t a stupid guy so maybe I doubt it will disappear in 2017 that is too soon. I think John hopes that Dish will disappear so he can get his hands on their spectrum LoL (Oh that is right they have spectrum they can sell if things get bad for Dish)

    • a d00d

      I don’t know if it was a mis-quote or not as I didn’t watch the video or whatever, but I think he meant Dish as a potential wireless competitor. The FCC has repeatedly warned them that they have never complied with their rules regarding build-out time after purchasing spectrum. That is, Dish is a Spectrum Squatter, the wireless version of a Domain Squatter, and, even under a new right-wing admin, I think the FCC may have finally had enough.

      Consider they let Globalstar use their little block of spectrum for limited terrestrial use after they’ve been begging for years. OTOH, Ergen has been squatting on a boat-load of spectrum with no network for years despite FCC pressure to sell or build. I for one truly hope that the FCC finally drops the hammer.

      • QWR

        At CES, Legere actually said something to the effect that delivery of satellite-based content is dead, and so Dish will be dead as well. IMO he was not talking about Dish as a wireless provider. As far as the FCC goes, they have very little interest in going after Ergen for squatting since they turned him down for buying anyone on the cheap in 2015. He attempted to put it to use, and has until sometime this year to sell or lease 50% of his spectrum, even though it’s transmission properties are more suited for large amounts of data vs. speed.

  • BadBatz

    1. How about “predicting” some bonuses, freebies, incentives, etc. for long time subscribers to T-Mobile… The siren song of AT&T is calling… And Project Fi is taking already a lot of my business away from T-Mob…
    2. Bandwidth… Need more bandwidth… How about more bandwidth… No more bandwidth, no more wireless watching of anything, Mr. Legere. And rural coverage…
    3. Please, Mr. Legere, “predict” better international coverage for “free data roaming” and 20 cent voice calls. Some initiatives notwithstanding (Europe higher speed data for example) international roaming has become a sad joke: data throttled to the point of being unusable (64 kbps in may places), inability to dial out to many countries whilst roaming, etc. Even the T-Mobile app no workee in may places… Please “predict” improvements or just “predict” going back to the sate of int’l roaming from 2015…

    • marque2

      Project To always seemed really expensive to me. $10 per gig, wow.

  • AJ2

    Id switch to Tmobile if it had a less expensive plan for single customers, especially people that dont use 10-20 gb of data. Left Tmo years ago – First went to Straight Talk for their $45 5gb LTE plan and now on Fi where my bills are tiny. If Im not mistaken, with their new $10 rebate, the lowest plan is $60 if you use less than 2gb. Even getting paid $150 to switch doesnt make it worth it.

    • Expert

      go with tmobile prepaid

    • BadBatz

      If you don’t use gobs of data stay with Fi. For email, news, maps/navigation, etc. my total monthly bill is seldom over $30.

      Fi prefers T-Mobile anyway, even whilst roaming abroad the US endpoint is a T-Mobile IP in Texas, but connects to other networks stateside if T-Mobile is not available. Besides, laptop tethering doesn’t cost extra, roaming data is at full speed and it roams in some countries where T-Mobile does not. And Fi forwards calls AND text messages – the latter priceless if you use multiple phones.

      I have no idea what will become of Project Fi but for now I’m happy to have “Google talk” in my pocket :-)

      • marque2

        T-Mobile offered full speed tethering with its older plans. And I believe low speed tethering is included in Europe. Europe is way behind going to LTE, so high speed is also.lst impossible anyway.

    • Jay Holm

      Since you use “so little data”, why even have a smartphone? Seriously! What a waste of money for someone who doesn’t even use their smartphone!

      • marque2

        Agreed, he can get a flip phone and 350 minutes of monthly service for $9 a month.

      • TJ Ninneman

        Wifi is everywhere. I think just about every bar, restaurant and department store in my area has it. You can get by with very little data usage if you don’t constantly pull out your phone while driving.

        • Jay Holm

          Your one of those idiots who thinks people should pay for something and not use it.

          Why do any of you even have a smartphone that cost $500/ $600/ $700+ and barely even use it? Seriously these things cost so much money, I like to use things that cost a lot of money.

        • TJ Ninneman

          Huh? You can still use a smartphone to it’s full potential and not use a ton of data MOBILE data. The data on wifi is just as good as mobile data, just a lot cheaper.

          The point is that if you live most of your life on wifi (whether at home, work or out-and-about), why pay for mobile data that you do not use?

  • Aleks

    I always knew that Google would enter the fray with a wireless service of their own. For John Legere to make this prediction, tells me that Google and T-Mobile could be looking at a merger, which to me, is the whole purpose of Google entering the wireless business sector. It’s been discussed behind closed doors. If this indeed does happen, look for wireless to be much cheaper and faster as Google is known to keep things affordable for the masses. Don’t take my word for it but if you’re on a legacy T-Mobile plan right now and ggrandfathered in, consider yourself lucky as they will be a major player in the wireless industry for the foreseeable future. I’m looking at Google and T-Mobile to work together and pave the way for the future. But like I said, don’t take my word for it. Just see it happening from a business standpoint.

    • marque2

      Google is evil. It will be a sad day when they take over TM.

  • Nearmsp

    I would like to know what percentage of interstate freeways and state highways are covered rather than the million population. We just do not talk when we are in population centers. We talk while get from point A to point B and we could travel through places with no population on the way out of one city to another. This is the reason why people go for AT&T and Verizon. Coverage outside of major cities should be a goal of T-mobile. Currently I carry a a Verizon myfi and switch on as soon as leave the metro area to be able to do wi-fi calling. T-mobile coverage outside cities still sucks. It has improved much but a long way to go.

    • KeepU

      You don’t happen to do much of that rural driving in West Virginia or between I-35 and I-5 do you? I drive a truck, and those are the only places I find a big difference in coverage between my t-mobile and verizon coverage.

      • marque2

        He doesn’t do much rural driving in his apparent state of Texas. Or never uses the phone while driving.

    • Jay Holm

      I’ve driven from Houston to Laredo, from Houston to Dallas, from Houston to Longview. . .never lost signal in between any of these places.

      • marque2

        Try Midland to El Paso. No coverage for 200 miles when I last drove it. Try driving I-40 in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. I have a fairly new 5x as well. Parts of I15 in CA. Shouldn’t have problems with the new bands. And once the interstates are covered major highways should be next 395 and 78 “Ortega highway” comes to mind.

        I know TM is small and is trying hard to cover more, bit to claim no issues while travelling is false. Also note San Diego has major holes in Oceanside, Carlsbad, parts of Coronado and San Diego bay. They haven’t put Band 12 in San Diego yet.

    • Joe

      I agree. In TMobile’s home state of Washington, there is not even coverage across all three major mountain passes. These are areas, especially in the winter that need coverage.

  • KeepU

    I predict the low grade billing fraud will continue, as will the network build out, and despite it’s serious flaws T-mobile will continue to be the least bad of the major wireless providers.

  • QWR

    Nice hat. Did you get a free bowl of soup with it? And Dish would like to officially declare that you cut your hair this year.

  • Steven

    Prediction, T-Mobile will continue to ignore the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast by not issuing the much needed Extended Range LTE. Something’s got to give man

    • zom

      Maybe because the majority of the Alabama Florida gulf coast is in channel 51 area? http://maps.spectrumgateway.com/t-mobile-700-mhz-spectrum.html

      • Steven

        Nah, that’s hardly the majority. That channel 51 area only covers basically Panama City up to the state line, From Miramar Beach all the way west to Gulf Port, MS, no channel 51 issues, wide open, and ignored. Same from Apalachicola all the way east and around to Gainesville is free from channel 51 and available for Band 12. The protected area you are talking about is not a large portion of the area at all and should not hinder the majority of the Gulf Coast.

  • Joe Merger

    Merger with Sprint in 2017

  • Not in predictions: T-Mobile indoor coverage

    • Tom

      Lol, smh

  • Joe

    That my coverage will not improve this year

  • Joe

    Verizon is making a run at my business lines. The rep thinks he can get fairly close in pricing, that coupled with much better coverage may cause me to jump.

  • Bk

    T-Mobile has actually added some coverage in Southeastern WV along I-64 and RT. 60 day before yesterday. that area is also in the T-Mobile Band 12 Market (Formerly Cavalier) and it is to be launched by the first quarter of this year. people here need other choices besides AT&T and USCC (which only covers the eastern half of the state)