In a press release touting his company’s new dominance in the prepaid space, T-Mobile CEO John Legere voiced the fairly safe assumption that T-Mobile would surpass Sprint in total customers by the end of 2014.
“As a matter of fact, I’m going on record—I predict we’ll overtake Sprint in total customers by the end of this year. Not someday. Not next year. This year,” Legere said in a statement.
The assurance of customer gains comes as T-Mobile claims it has now amassed more prepaid customers than any of the other big four U.S. carriers. T-Mobile said it now has 15.64 million prepaid customers and compared that to Sprint’s 15.19 million, AT&T’s 11.34 million, and Verizon Wireless’s 6.04 million.
T-Mobile gave credit to MetroPCS for much of its prepaid success. The carrier said its efforts to expand MetroPCS market reach has pushed the prepaid carrier’s customer total past 10 million—including 1.2 million added in the last year.
For anyone watching quarterly reports from the U.S. carriers, Legere’s prediction looks to coincide with the opposite trajectories for Sprint and T-Mobile. T-Mobile added more than one million net subscribers for the fifth straight quarter and its customer total is now at 50.5 million. Sprint slowed its mass customer exodus but still lost a net 220,000 subscribers, bringing its customer total down to 53 million.
Shortly after its quarterly report, Sprint dropped its bid for acquire T-Mobile and bid farewell to its longtime CEO Dan Hesse. Brightstar CEO and Sprint Board member Marcelo Claure is set to take his place.
As Sprint continues through its transformation period—that’s seen it rip and replace its network, sell itself to SoftBank and now change its top leadership—Legere has continued to chide the carrier. In addition to today’s comments, Legere yesterday posted a lengthy stream of jabs on Twitter, calling Sprint a “melting ice cube” and encouraging its customers to “jump off the Sprint bus before it crashes.”