Scalise Questions T-Mobile CEO on Effects to Consumers of T-Mobile, Sprint Merger
WASHINGTON, D.C.—At today's House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing titled, Protecting Consumers and Competition: An Examination of the T-Mobile and Sprint Merger, Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) questioned T-Mobile CEO John Legere on the effects of this merger to 5G expansion across the country and job creation in fields ranging from customer service to network deployment.
Click here or on the image above to watch Rep. Scalise's questions.
On the merger's effect on innovation and 5G expansion:
Whip Scalise: "...You see trillions of megabytes of data being used by Americans and that number is increasing. As people find more uses, it creates more jobs. It creates more opportunity. It creates more efficiencies and improvements in people’s quality of life. I do think that’s an important point to talk about as Americans use so many more devices and rely on that increased amount of data that they are able to access. It does really improve their lives on a daily basis..."
"I know you’ve talked about the jobs. To me some of the things the Department of Justice should be looking at if this merger goes through: would it help consumers? Will it help lower costs? Will it create more jobs?
"I know you’ve talked about some of that in your testimony, Mr. Legere, so could you first talk about the ability for consumers to have more competition and have access to lower costs for the increased amount of data that you’re using?"
T-Mobile CEO Legere: "There is so much in what you’ve said that is extremely important, including starting 5G. The promise of 5G is 100 times the speeds; 100 times the number of devices that can go on networks; ten times the improvement in the response time or the delay that’s created.
"Our new T-Mobile will provide 15 times the speed that we have now, up to 450 megabits average speed across the US, and users will go from an average of 10 gigs of data usage to 80 while the unit price will go down 87 percent. The track record is there, especially with low income users who have had a price decline and a disproportionate increase. So that’s what this transaction with the DoJ heavily is about: showing the network modeling that will take this industry and significantly increase capacity and provide a pricing decline and because of that network integration how that will impact consumers. The office that they have and the utilization. That’s what the whole transaction review has been about thus far."
On how this merger will create new jobs:
Scalise: "Let’s talk now about the jobs side of it. Numbers like the ten thousand new jobs referenced. What kind of jobs are you talking about? ... If you could touch on this is my last question."
Legere: "We’ve talked a bit today about customer experience centers, which are one of the core jobs in our company now. There’ll be 5,600 new jobs, 2,000 expanded jobs in that, so about 7,600 in the customer experience centers. Those are good paying $45 thousand to $50 thousand wage jobs. There’ll be about 11,800 people involved in network integration and deployment. There’ll be 5,000 people in new retail stores, especially in rural America. There’ll be about 11,000 jobs created over the period for the new businesses we’re going into—internet of things, video, broadband, et cetera—businesses that we aren’t in now. Those are the key growth areas of new jobs."