T-Mobile vs. Ericsson and SoftBank vs. OneWeb: The final 4 most powerful in telecom

Today’s matchups are perhaps the most exciting yet: Two out-of-the-box entrepreneurs are matched against each other on one side of the bracket, while two industry heavyweights are on the other side.

UPDATE: The tournament is now over. Click here for the results.


After another day of voting—and some surprisingly tight races—four executives are moving on in our weeklong voting tournament for the most powerful person in the telecom industry.

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Today’s matchups are perhaps the most exciting yet: Two out-of-the-box entrepreneurs (SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son and OneWeb’s Greg Wyler) are matched against each other on one side of the bracket, while two industry heavyweights—and two executives who work directly together as supplier and customer—are on the other side (Ericsson’s Borje Ekholm and T-Mobile’s John Legere).

I’m particularly interested in this latter matchup because Ekholm has received more total votes in previous rounds than any other executive on our list, likely benefiting from voting among Ericsson’s global workforce (roughly 106,000 at last count). That may well put Legere at a disadvantage, considering T-Mobile’s U.S.-based workforce is less than half that. However, as they did last year, T-Mobile’s executives are leveraging their sizable social media followings to drive votes. The next 24 hours ought to be interesting.

Today’s polls will remain open until around 10 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow, Friday Dec. 8. As in previous rounds, repeated voting will be prohibited with a block to cookies and IP addresses.

Also, if you’re looking for something a bit more substantive than a poll-based tournament, I’d encourage you to check out some of my colleagues’ recent writings: Colin Gibbs recently dove into the drivers for 5G success, and also uncovered some more details about Charter’s smartphone plans for its forthcoming MVNO. Meanwhile, Monica Alleven yesterday discovered that regional operator C Spire is testing Cohere Technologies’ new RF modulation technology—a further indication of C Spire’s outsized 5G aspirations as well as Cohere’s efforts to change the very paradigm of wireless networking.

Beyond wireless, I’d encourage you to read Sean Buckley’s peek into the white box trend in networking, Dan Frankel’s look into Sling TV’s third anniversary and Ben Munson’s “X-Men vs. Avengers”-themed take on the potential for a Disney-Fox merger.

But enough from me. The fourth-round bracket is below, and below that are the actual matchups that you can vote on. Enjoy! – Mike | @mikeddano