It's not mentioned anywhere in T-Mobile's impressive Q4 earnings report, but during the carrier's live earnings call happening right now, CEO John Legere has officially declared victory over Sprint. He says T-Mobile is now larger than Sprint, a claim that — if true — would move the Uncarrier into third place in the US mobile industry. Last year, Legere boldly promised that his company would overtake Sprint by the end of 2014. The new year began without a victory lap, so some doubted whether T-Mobile was able to clear the bar. But Legere is now saying that it happened. "I’ve been very gracious on this as the year ended and people were saying, 'Hey, he predicted he was going to pass Sprint and he didn’t.' Well, we did. That’s the gig."
If he's right, T-Mobile is now the third-place US carrier
Offering "a little history on this topic," Legere put his own take on Sprint's stagnant growth in recent years. "Going into 2013, Sprint had 55 million customers. Going into ’14, they had 55 million customers. Going into this year, they have 55 million customers. In that period, they lost 3.3 million postpaid customers as well." T-Mobile, by contrast, has seen dramatic growth spurred by its Uncarrier initiatives and acquisition of MetroPCS. "T-Mobile had 33 million customers. We merged with MetroPCS and went to 42 million customers, and we’ve since added 13 million customers to get up to, guess what, 55 million customers."
That makes it sound like the two are tied, but Legere hinted that Sprint is using some questionable tactics so that it can continue including inactive MVNO customers when reporting its customer base. The two are in a dead heat right now, but Legere claims that "by the next quarter or two," T-Mobile's leapfrogging of Sprint will be even more clear. We've reached out to Sprint for comment on Legere's statement.