Sprint has been the slowest of the four major carriers to deploy 4G LTE service, and the company has not excelled in recent studies of network performance or customer satisfaction. Even Chairman Masayoshi Son has said that Sprint’s service – and that of all US wireless and home providers – is “horrible.” Though he calls the slow speeds and unreliable performance of wireless connectivity in the US as unacceptable given what consumers pay, Son claims that he can fix that problem if Sprint is allowed to purchase T-Mobile.
In an interview with Recode.net, Son admitted that Sprint’s network is “horrible” when Walt Mossberg said it was worse than all of the other major carriers, but Son said the US system as a whole is not up to par. Son said in Japan, he’s able to enjoy wireless service that is 20 to 30 Mbps on a consistent basis in one of the most dense and demanding areas of the world. When the executive visits his rented home in California’s Silicon Valley, even his home Internet service from Comcast has issues buffering and being slow to load video. The solution to that problem is to leverage Sprint’s spectrum with T-Mobile and deploy a massive network upgrade including more macro cells (towers) and micro cells (small cell networks and receivers near windows) that could provide upgrades in service.
Sprint has not made a formal offer to acquire T-Mobile, but it has made several inquiries with regulators in order to win support for a deal. In a conversation about why Sprint needs T-Mobile, Son stated:
“We need the scale. We are still No. 3 but a closer No. 3 than a miserable No. 3. I would agree with [Sprint’s LTE network being the worst] and am angry about that. When we acquired Vodafone Japan, it was a horrible. It was a horrible network and a horrible brand, and I had to fix it. And I have fixed it. Our network is No. 1 in Japan. Actually, I think it is No. 1 in the world.”
You can watch the full video interview of Son and Mossberg about Recode.net. It’s a candid conversation and worth watching.