T-Mobile CEO Legere made almost as much as AT&T CEO Stephenson in 2015

As investors gear up to evaluate carrier earnings, recent SEC filings show that T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) CEO John Legere made nearly as much as AT&T (NYSE: T) CEO Randall Stephenson.

According to data compiled by FierceWireless, Stephenson made $25.1 million in 2015, up from about $24 million in 2014. Meanwhile, Legere saw his total compensation for 2015 jump to about $24.5 million, well ahead of the $18.6 he made in 2014.

Legere's total compensation for 2015 is also higher than Verizon (NYSE: VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam's salary, whose total compensation last year totaled $18.34 million, a modest increase over the $18.3 million he made in 2014.

It's worth noting, though, that Legere made $29.24 million in 2013, significantly more than the $23.24 million Stephenson made in 2013. It's also worth noting that Sprint (NYSE: S) has yet to release an executive compensation summary for 2015, so it's unclear where Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure ranks among the CEOs of the top four U.S. wireless carriers.

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are all in the midst of announcing second-quarter earnings. If the quarter shakes out the way analysts are anticipating, then Legere's bump in pay will seem warranted.

AT&T reported last week that it added 2.1 million overall connections, a total largely consisting of connected devices, service expansion in Mexico and its prepaid brand Cricket Wireless. But the carrier dropped 180,000 revenue-rich postpaid subscribers, which still represented an improvement over the 276,000 postpaid losses during year-prior period and 363,000 lost in the previous quarter. That said, both revenue and profit climbed for the carrier.

Sprint today announced its latest quarterly earnings and saw its shares rise after posting 173,000 net postpaid customer additions, showing signs of subscriber turnaround, albeit one that came with a $302 million net loss.

T-Mobile is scheduled to announce its second-quarter earnings this week and analysts are predicting positive things for the resurgent carrier.

Jefferies analyst Mike McCormack predicts T-Mobile will bring in about 85 percent of the lucrative postpaid net subscriber additions in 2016. For the second quarter, Evercore analysts think T-Mobile will add around 830,000 postpaid subscribers.

The narrowing of the pay gap between Legere and Stephenson is notable also because of the apparent rivalry between the CEOs, at least as viewed by Legere, who often uses Twitter and other platforms to take shots at AT&T's CEO and AT&T's wireless business strategies.

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