I’m still catching up on everything that happened during CES. The 4K TVs are just now sinking into my brain and I’m still trying to count all of the seemingly no-name tablets that were announced. But one thing keeps sticking out and bothering me: T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere and his comments against AT&T.
Let me back track: Legere is a hilarious guy. He is, hands down, the funniest speaker I’ve ever seen in a press conference. He tossed a few jabs at AT&T, Sprint and Verizon with the delivery of a seasoned comedian. During his speech he said AT&T’s NYC network is “crap.” Fact is, there are only a few areas in NYC where AT&T’s network still fails. One area in particular is right off of the FDR around 23rd street. The signal drops there, for whatever reason.
Here’s an inside scoop, though: when T-Mobile gives us review devices, it often provides a list of “recommended areas” to test in. Those are the areas with HSPA+ coverage and the best speeds. It’s no secret, I’ve even mentioned this in my reviews and that I typically avoid those areas so that you can see real world tests, not tests performed in optimal environments. Whatever, that’s fine, I get it. There’s a deeper story here, though.
Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on mobile networks on the east coast last fall. AT&T’s network, in my experience, was perfectly fine. My cable Internet was down, but my wireless connection kept me in touch with the rest of the world. If AT&T’s network is so “crappy” in NYC, why did T-Mobile choose to enter a roaming agreement to make sure its customers retained coverage? If T-Mobile’s network was so strong, it wouldn’t have needed to partner with AT&T, right? Maybe AT&T needed help, too, but the fact is the two worked together and AT&T isn’t going around calling T-Mobile a crappy carrier.
Again, Legere is a funny guy and I’m excited to see T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network roll out this year. I’m just calling it like I see it. You can’t partner with a carrier to make sure you’re offering your customers coverage that wouldn’t otherwise be available, and then backtrack a few months later and call that same partner’s network “crappy.”
It just seems… bizarre.