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Sprint Chairman Says His Network Is ‘Horrible’

Posted on Mar 12, 2014

Mergers are all the rage these days, and in his bid to add a second U.S. carrier to his collection, Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son isn’t pulling punches.

He acknowledges that his own network in the U.S. is “horrible,” but he says all U.S. networks are horrible compared with what he’s used to in Japan. Son tells Re/Code’s Walt Mossberg that he wants to compete not just with other wireless carriers like Verizon, but fixed line broadband networks like Comcast.

Speaking of Comcast, if it is allowed by regulators to acquire Time Warner, it will have a broadband monopoly (excluding DSL, which can’t compete on speed and wireless, which can’t compete with unlimited data) in 19 of the top 20 U.S. markets. Comcast has made the argument that wireless carriers will provide for competition, and Son seems to agree. Of course both have a reason to exaggerate.

In the video below, Son (pictured) tells Mossberg how he plans to transform the crummiest LTE network in America to one that can exceed 10 times the speed of cable Internet.

It should be noted that federal regulators nixed a merger between AT&T and T-Mobile not too long ago, and since then the wireless industry appears to have gotten much more competitive, with T-Mobile adding customers and pushing consumer-friendly plans into the mainstream. The odds of a merger between the bottom two carriers are not great, unless Sprint’s chairman can convince regulators that it is necessary or will counter-intuitively boost competition.


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