Softbank CEO plans to start a massive price war if Sprint is allowed to buy T-Mobile [VIDEO]

It’s no secret that Sprint, as well as new parent company Softbank, are licking their lips at a chance to buyout T-Mobile. Sprint has long been vocal about their interest in T-Mobile, and in an interview with Charlie Rose, Softbank CEO (and Sprint chairman) Masayoshi Son further echoed this sentiment.

A bit apprehensive at first, Son attempted to change the subject about a possible T-Mobile merger, but Rose persisted. Eventually Son came clean, calling the current state of the US cellular industry a “pseudo competition,” going on to to say that the only real challenge Verizon and AT&T face is if US regulators allow Sprint to merge with T-Mobile. It’s the combining of these forces that would finally pose a real challenge to Verizon and AT&T’s stronghold in the US, with Sprint leading the charge in a massive price war.

 “I would go for price competition very aggressively, and network competition to create the world’s best network. I want to be #1.”

Considered a “maverick” in his homeland of Japan, the Softbank CEO is set to discuss these issues and more during his trip to Washington tomorrow. It was there, both CEO Dan Hesse and Masayoshi Son are said to have met with the FCC and DOJ last month to talk T-Mobile, before things went sour. There’s no question Softbank and Sprint have an uphill battle ahead of them. It’s not often someone promises less competition will lead to lower prices for consumers, but it’s something Softbank is hoping to prove during tomorrow’s presentation.

[WSJ]

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  • a) youth.in.asia

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, Mr. Son, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s work to improve the network you have already or no matter how aggressively you market those plans. No one will go for them

    • Aaron Mayeux

      wouldn’t combining sprint and t-mobiles networks improve coverage?

      • VI

        No, it won’t. They run two completely different networks GSM vs CDMA so they would be zero coverage gain… Until one model can replace the other… Which will take just as long as simply growing the existing network.

        • Aaron Mayeux

          thank you for the clarification.

        • Timothy Crothers

          Except, you have no idea what your talking about. GSM is DEAD. CDMA is also DEAD. Neither technology has gotten any improvements released in the past 4 years. For Tmobile getting access to Sprint’s LTE network would quadruple their nationwide LTE coverage in one fell swoop. Sprints 1900 LTE network is already compatible with every Tmobile LTE device currently on sale. Believe me getting access to Sprints LTE in all those awful Tmobile EDGE/GPRS areas will be mana from heaven. You may not like the fact sprint is taking over tmobile but coverage wise it would be a huge win for tmobile customers.

          • UMA_Fan

            People will still rely on gsm and CDMA for basic calling for many years to come

          • VI

            Nation wide LTE in one fell swoop? Apparently I know more than you do. LTE is data only… It relies on network switching for the voice unless you use a transition tech like voice over lte.

            Not to mention Sprint and T-Mobile LTE are so small they still equate to a tiny fraction and barely count as national

          • Duong Duc Ngo

            Apparently you don’t know more then him. What is voice? Voice is just data.

          • VI

            Is this troll bait? That sentence says so much about your complete lack of understanding I’m not even sure which Wikipedia article I should start with linking to you.

            LTE is an all IP network. GSM and CDMA are not. It’s similar to the same reason you need a cable box for “cable channels above 200″ yet you need nothing for basic TV (well some TVs are now shipping with built in tuners but I’m sure you see where I’m going). You can’t just “smoosh” the two together and say “it’s all data LOLZ” and expect it to work.

          • james ortiz

            Hey genius…voice is not data if you have a T-Mobile LTE phone then try this. Maybe a phone call while on LTE and look at the phone switch to gsm

          • james ortiz

            Make*

          • seattleboi1982

            that’s incorrect. Yes, both GSM and CDMA are a ending technology, However, T-mobile uses 1900 mhz for HSPA and GSM. They use AWS (Band 4) for both HSPA+ and LTE. none of T-mobile phones will work on Sprint’s LTE network (band 26/26/41). MOST of T-mobile’s phones will work on band 17 though used by AT&T.

          • Timothy Crothers

            Read the supported LTE band list for the Tmobile iPhone 5c/5s, Galaxy S4/Note, etc they ALL support band 25 aka Sprints 1900mhz LTE network. Yes the voice networks would incompatible at the voice level except virtually ever current tmobile/sprint phone supports CDMA/GSM natively so they can switch technologies at will. And why shutdown either of the legacy voice networks? Verizon ran their AMPS analog voice service well after the fact because it doesn’t really cost much. LTE voice is basically here anyway so they will both move towards it quickly in the nest couple of years with the fall back to the legacy voice networks..

  • Rdfry

    This is bullshit they need to crawl back in their hole. I don’t want Sprint. The fact that they didn’t fire Hesse shows they don’t know what they are doing.

  • GE918

    I’ll go to AT&T before I switch to Sprint. GSM is the way to go.

  • Daniel Holmstock

    go away Sprint – fix your network and your coverage – then drop your prices NOW to compete as number 4 – in fact price war now from all 4 carriers means business and thats action not your mere words, we hear enough lies in the US everyday we dont need yours!

    • Alberto_jr

      Well won’t there network improve by merging both Sprint and T-Mobile ?

    • Daniel Holmstock

      and NO there network will not improve when they take over t-mobile – HAS not sprint learned from the Nextel debacle? That was a CDMA to GSM merger and here we go again – Sprints dying CDMA trying to swallow up a limited GSM…

      • Duong Duc Ngo

        Dude you have no ideal what you talking about do you? Nextel was iDEN, Sprint got Nextel for the 800 mhz fraquezy not tor the customer. GSM is dead, Europe use the WCDMA, GSM is is 2g. Korea and Japan still use CDMA. And in the next 5 year phone will using VoLTE.

        • Aar0nC

          Idk what they use in a Europe since I’ve never gone there myself but in Latino America, all carriers use GSM.

          • Duong Duc Ngo

            It is WCDMA all WCDMA is a GSM phone. GSM is the edge /2g network.

          • master94

            I think he meant 3G and up. Not too many people still use gsm (2g)

  • VI

    Sense when has reducing options created more competition? Two national carriers do not need more spectrum to compete… They just need to compete.

    • Duong Duc Ngo

      How is t mobile going to complete when it has the least coverage. T mobile cover the least amount in the US. Half of Michigan is not cover by T mobile. The bottom two combined still have less then ATT.

      • fuzzylumpkins

        Michigan T-mobile customer here. MI has unusually great T-mobile coverage.

        • Duong Duc Ngo

          If you live in the lower part of Michigan. Central and Northern Michigan has no coverage. Anything north of St. John you have no coverage beside a few any city over 100k people.

          • fuzzylumpkins

            west MI, which is mid/lower-MI.

          • Duong Duc Ngo

            We live in different part of Michigan,mt pleasant and north of it has zero coverage.

          • Hilarious

            You’re correct.

        • Dean Politis

          I am in the Detroit area. I have been both a T-Mobile and Sprint customer. I definitely prefer T-Mobile to Sprint.

          I don’t trust Sprint. They never brought WiMax to the Detroit area, but Detroit area customers were forced to pay the premium Sprint charged on smartphones for something Detroit area customers could not utilize unless they were out of town.

  • supremekizzle

    I feel like he’s saying this so people won’t oppose the buyout. After it happens…boom…prices go up.

  • shooter50

    forget Sprint. Their customer service, network and prices all suck. I would rather pay higher prices on ATT or Verizon than subject myself to Sprint again. I love T-Mobile, but if this goes through, sayonara Mr. Son

    • Duong Duc Ngo

      Speak for yourself. God people like you are the worst. Just because where you are have bad service does not mean all of us have the same bad service. Sprint have more people for a reason.

      • fuzzylumpkins

        The difference is that where T-mobile HAS service, it’s usually great. Where Sprint has service, it’s more likely to be bad than good. T-mobile is investing in their existing network and improving service for existing customers. Sprint is VERY SLOWLY rolling out an almost entirely new network, promising better service to existing customers soon that they know won’t come for at least a year or more. Sprint is putting future customers before existing ones, which burns a LOT of people and is driving them away from Sprint. I know where I live they’ve been promising better speeds and coverage for going on 4 years now. Meanwhile T-mobile has gone from not great, to HSPA+, to LTE almost everywhere.

  • spicymeatball

    You will have to have a price war to stop t-mobile customers from leaving.

  • Cael

    They might as well just lower the prices now >_> so Verizon can get it over with.

  • Aar0nC

    I don’t see a problem with lower cell phone plans as long as the service isn’t crazy. I’ve had a bad experience with sprint in South Florida, so I’ll still with the T-Mobile on straight talk if it gets worst then I can always get a AT&T sim card and switch it up

  • Jason Crumbley

    Apparently he’s not paying attention. There already is a massive price war, thanks to T-Mobile. Go home, Son. You’re drunk.

    • master94

      Yes but this is the same Man that took a minor cell company in Japan and made it the second biggest there by increasingthe network 30x and dropping prices to half of what everyone else was doing. If he does anything close to that, it would be great. T-Mobile is too small to do it on its own. That being said. Go T-Mobile.

  • Alberto_jr

    I guess I’m the minority because I like Sprint service. I’m lucky enough to live in San Diego and we have LTE and in the process of getting “Spark” any day now. True they were pretty bad and slow but not today. I use between 7-12 gigs of data a month and if this merger will improve the data and connection speed….I’m all for it

  • fuzzylumpkins

    If he wants to start a price war, why is Sprint still more expensive than T-mobile? Why is T-mobile needed to lower Sprint’s prices? Softbank has been running Sprint for more than enough time to lower prices yet they haven’t. If he wanted to start a price war he can, but he hasn’t.

    He says he wants to have a 3 carrier fight, but to get to the big fight, he has to win the small fight with T-mobile. The fact that customers are leaving Sprint for T-mobile in DROVES, should have him worried about losing this first fight. T-mobile will absorb Sprint if this continues, because it looks like Sprint is doing absolutely nothing new to gain customers or keep their current ones.

    • Duong Duc Ngo

      No one is leaving in droves for any of the carrier. T mobile did great in Q4 of 2013 gaining 1.6 million customers. But Sprint also gaining 700k not as good as t mobile. Verizon gain 1.7 and Att get 1.2m.

      • Matthew Prendergast

        True…. but T-mobile gained 4.4 million subscribers last year total. Thats more then any other carrier last year and the effect is steam rolling. Thats a significant figure.

        • james ortiz

          I’m glad I left sprint for tmobile. Best service I’ve ever had in my life.

    • Brandon Nieves

      No actually Tmobile is about to be in the same price range as Sprint with their truely Unlimited Data usage deal for 80 dollars a month. Sprint is already charging Unlimited talk, text and Truely Unlimited Data for life for at least 80 dollars a month now. Tmobile is pretty much going to be doing the same exact thing on what Sprint is doing. So therefore you might as well have both Sprint/T-Mobile merge with each other for that matter.

    • chuckles87

      they are even pissing off non customers. called for an unlock code for an old ass phone and ended getting cussed out by one of their reps. its like yeah ill never go with you guys.

  • shonangreg

    Masayoshi Son really did shake up the ISP market in Japan a decade or so back with yahoo bb. He transformed the ISP market from a protected one to a dynamic one with much more competition. I’m posting from yahoo bb now.

    However, on the cell side, SoftBank, his mobile company always has been last in coverage, while always claiming to have better coverage, and their contracts have been the most convoluted.

    It is weird how wired he is good for the consumer, wireless not so much. I don’t see why this would change in America. And on top of this, he is making a counter-intuitive claim that few competitors will result in more competition.

    If Son wants to bridge CDMA and GSM, then couldn’t he just form an MVNO and purchase data at wholesale rates across all carriers, give better, cheaper connectivity to his customers, and pocket the benefits?

    • Matthew Prendergast

      You are right. I would believe Son more if there was a smaller footprint overlay. For the most part, Sprint and T-mobile are only good for cities, not the suburbs. If he can prove that he can create a much larger footprint, I would back him up. I love T-mobile, I have T-mobile but in alot of places that I frequent in Long Island NY, almost no signal or missed calls and texts is normal.

  • MIKEEEEE

    bring it! just expand your coverage for both data and voice and switch to GSM. keep wifi calling too.

  • Haggie

    How do you know a CEO is lying? When he says that less competition will improve the customer experience. See also: Comcast.

  • Jacel Jara

    Frankly T-mobile is too special to be bought up by one of these carriers. I would rather someone not in the mobile game yet with tons of cash bought them and they continued to expand their network. They already have the best service deals and no-contract phones.

    • Hilarious

      Yes, because we all know they have payment plans on their phones now. So let’s say you get a Galaxy Note 3 or a Iphone 5c and stretch the payments out over the whole 24 months you get to pay off the phone. 24 months=2 years. So yes, if you are paying the minimum every month over the 24 month you get on TMobiles new payment option, you are signing a 2 year contract.

  • JRomeo

    Why doesn’t T-Mobile buy Sprint………

  • Rob Schoenfeld

    Solution is simple, allow for easy MVNO competition, offer low cost service for low income. Repurpose T-Mobile’s spectrum for LTE coverage and Sprint’s CDMA.

  • Hilarious

    It’s is very simple. Sprint service sucks it will continue to suck and the customers that remain with them are simply brainwashed. Up until they bought Nextel, Sprint use to be at the top of the rankings of carriers. However, they thought they could run a IDEN network, fire all the Nextel engineers that knew how to run it and look what happened? Sprint engineers didn’t know one thing how to fix, upgrade IDEN network.

    The ONLY reason that they want to buy TMobile is so that way they can scapegoat their way out of building out a 4G LTE network all the way around. They were a failure with Wi-max under clearwire, why they bought Clear is beyond a mystery?? Especially when Clear made their reputation even worse for a incomplete infrastructure.

    Next, they bought US Cellulars Midwest airwaves so that way the could boost signal strength in the midwest where they lack coverage. Nope they still don’t have a clue how to migrate that in.

    Last, Sprints own service doesn’t work at their own corporate headquarters. How rich and bold is that? You are trying to sell your own product you rant and rave is so great, yet it doesn’t work at your own headquarters.

    • Liam Spencer

      Actually, sprint has really good coverage in metropolitan areas and most major highways. I live in Louisville Kentucky and right now, overall from my experieces, sprint has better coverafe than att in Louisville. Sprint is not the worst. I am with Republic Wireless a MVNO under sprint and I get unlimited talk, text and web for $25 a month. I like it that sprint is willing to let MVNO’s use their network and offer great prices. If sprint bought out T-Mobile, it would benefit many people that use sprint and it would also give sprint a large enough customer base to actually potentially begin making a profit. For $25 a month I can’t complain, plus for now I have free roaming on Verizon where there isn’t sprint coverage. Att, Verizon and T-Mobile all don’t have anything that has a better price and offer than republic does under sprint.

  • Brandon Nieves

    No actually Sprints cell service does not suck at all. Sprint is more reasonable than Tmobile. Tmobile needs all the help they can get. Combining Tmobile/Sprint TOGETHERS would help out with coverage issues in the long run. Tmobiles 70 dollar Unlimited talk, text and Truely Unlimited Data plan is about to be getting switched to the same plan as Sprints 80 dollar Unlimited talk, text and Truely Unlimited Data plan which will all start to take place on the May 23rd of this month people. So guess what? Yes it is going to be a most definate that Sprint will be aquiring T-Mobile turning it right into Sprints name reversing the merger as an whole. Then again Sprint might be switched into the new T-Mobile all TOGETHERS switching all of Sprints users into T-Mobiles users. :) Or what’s bound to really happen is all MetroPCS stores are going to simply be switched to all T-Mobile stores for that matter. The last thing that will happen is Softbank keeping Tmobile as an smaller truely prepaid carrier, putting it run under Sprints wing of things!! :)

  • Derek Mounce

    The problem is neither Sprint NOR T-mobile has enough spectrum at the moment to truly compete

    T-Mobile is building a 20×20 network in SOME markets where as other markets are getting a big ole 0x0 network my town for example doesn’t even have HSPA+ and the only places in Kentucky as far as I know that does is the big cities ie Lexington, Louisville, and I believe Bowling Green with only Louisville and Lexington having 4G LTE they are getting some 700mhz from Verizon but only installing that in like maybe 5-6 states and even those are not covering the whole states Kentucky also doesn’t get any of that

    With Sprint sure they have the most spectrum than any other company but it’s in the highest band out of all of them that is why they are only building a 5×5 1900Mhz and a 5×5 800mhz LTE network where as Verizon did a 20×20 700Mhz network and even they are having issues with that in most markets and are now installing I believe it is 1700Mhz? on top of that for capacity issues since Sprint is building out there Spark in the 2.6Ghz that won’t really reach that far so unless u live less than a mile from a tower you probably won’t get the fastest speeds that Spark provides

  • Liam Spencer

    I think son is on to something. Just the fact that he mentioned starting a war against Comcast and other ISP’s puts me behind him 100%. I have been waiting for a big carrier to offer something that give us a choice over who we pay for internet service. Also, thanks to sprint, my phone bill is only $25 a month for unlimited, talk, text through republic wireless, a mvno of sprint. Thanks to sprint I am saving a lot every month. Plus, where I live and even in very rural areas I have had no problem with coverage. This should be a good thing for america. I am fully behind son in acquiring T-Mobile. I think this could really shake things up for the better!