Sprint's Claure and T-Mobile's Legere get into profanity-laced exchange over RootMetrics report

Sprint (NYSE: S) CEO Marcelo Claure and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) CEO John Legere either really don't like each other, or they are just putting on a convincing act. The two CEOs got into their latest brouhaha on Twitter following the publication of network testing firm RootMetrics' latest bi-annual report on the carriers' network performance. What's notable is that RootMetrics eventually jumped into the profanity-laced fray to defend itself.

It started when Claure pointed out that, according to RootMetrics, T-Mobile came in fourth place in terms of call performance, with AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) only slightly ahead of Sprint for the No. 2 spot behind Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ).

Claure then jumped on an Internet meme tacked to the release of the movie Straight Outta Compton and indicated that T-Mobile and Legere were "straight outta bulls--t."


Legere was quick to respond on Twitter, saying Claure was "straight outta ideas." Legere then said, "I get that you're proud of this bulls--t, antiquated report, @marceloclaure – but you still came in 4th."

The RootMetrics report showed that Sprint came in third in terms of overall network performance, ahead of T-Mobile. RootMetrics' report looks at overall performance, network reliability, network speed, data performance, call performance and texting performance. Verizon won in five of the six categories while AT&T edged out Verizon in texting performance. Sprint showed improvements in mobile data performance and speeds as well as call and texting reliability.

Legere took issue with the RootMetrics report, which, he said on Twitter, is "not an accurate network study," and that T-Mobile trusts crowd-sourced information with real customer data. He also said that RootMetrics "can't keep up with how fast" T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray and his team are improving T-Mobile's network. And, Legere noted that "we now have 700 MHz in over 135 markets - that wasn't even included on their cute little road trip."

RootMetrics felt compelled to respond and defend itself. "We don't typically get involved in back-and-forth commentary between CEOs, and they have no influence on how we conduct our testing, how we analyze the data we collect, nor on our final results," the company said in a statement, adding: "We stand by our methodology and our results."

Claure and Legere got into a verbal scuffle on Twitter in July when Legere criticized Sprint's "All In" plans and said the plans are a "swing and a miss." Claure responded, in part, in a series of tweets (which have since been deleted) directed at Legere: "I am so tired of your Uncarrier bulls--t when you are worse than the other two carriers together. Your cheap misleading lease imitation is a joke."

The heated exchanges have come as T-Mobile has surpassed Sprint as the No. 3 U.S. carrier in terms of subscribers. T-Mobile has been adding customers faster than any carrier in the industry and is rapidly moving to hit 300 million POPs covered with LTE by year-end. Sprint, under Claure, has been focused on improving its network through more widespread deployment of its 2.5 GHz spectrum for TD-LTE services as well as carrier aggregation. Claure also said this week Sprint will abandon two-year contracts by year end and move to a device leasing model.  

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this CNBC article
- see this Business Insider article

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