During a question-and-answer session, Legere—acknowledging he should probably say no comment—addressed the rumors of Sprint wanting to buy T-Mobile. Far from dismissing them entirely, he said in so many words that Sprint is a pile of spectrum, but little else, and T-Mobile is a dynamic, growing, increasingly loved brand that's not going anywhere (and that of course will eventually need more spectrum).
"The T-Mobile brand is here to stay. How that ultimately plays out, [who knows]. But we're a change agent, a maverick … and I think people think that is very important."
Whether helped by such a deal or not, Legere also said that there is "nothing strategic or long term" that T-Mobile can't accomplish to eventually make it the nation's leading carrier.
"Not this year, and not next year," he said, but in good time.
T-Mobile made headlines at CES 2013 for taking on its rivals and making big promises. (The event marked the beginning of Legere's public thrashing of AT&T.)
"We almost didn't come this year, and then we realized, what better place to summarize the year?" said Legere.
T-Mobile did away with two-year contracts; it separated data plans from device prices and began offering monthly financing for devices; it began including texting and data use in more than 100 countries, for no extra fee, as part of its Simple Choice Plans; and it began offering 200MB of free data per month to anyone with a tablet that can access its network.
And people have responded.
During the third quarter of 2013, T-Mobile gained nearly 1 million customers, and during the fourth quarter—its best quarter in eight years—it did 60 percent better, adding 1.6 million new customers. (During the fourth quarter of 2012, it lost more than 800,000 customers.)
On the whole, T-Mobile gained 4.4 million new customers in 2013, said Legere, insisting, "When this many people move to a proposition, thinking changes."
When asked whether something had happened to make him so passionate about wanting to upend the industry, Legere suggested the opportunity was too fantastic—the degree to which subscribers hated their carriers too great—to get it wrong.
Putting it in other terms, he explained, "The rule in karaoke is, if someone sings and they suck, go next," he said.