Nevada News Reporter

T-Mobile to take No. 3 slot from Sprint

T-Mobile to take No. 3 slot from Sprint

The already heated competition between T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Sprint’s chief Marcelo Claure could soon reach stratospheric heights. Research firm GSMA Intelligence, which tracks the mobile industry, is predicting that T-Mobile may have finally surpassed Sprint in the three-month period ended in June to become the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier.648,000 Subscribers Added by T-Mobile in Quarter

The final tally won’t be known until Sprint reports earnings on Aug. 4. But if GSMA is right, the companies —which have been locked in a very public battle for customers that has sometimes spilled over into the Twittersphere — will soon report data showing that T-Mobile has surpassed Sprint in terms of total “connections” (an industry metric for tallying customers) for the first time since at least 2000, when GSMA began tracking the data.

GSMA expects T-Mobile to boast 58.9 million customers when it reports second-quarter earnings Thursday. By contrast, GSMA estimates that Sprint will report 58.3 million “connections” on Aug. 4 — or roughly 600,000 less than T-Mobile. This could likely exacerbate the already tense relations between the two carriers.

“You can expect (T-Mobile) will make every ounce of hay out of this that is available to them,” said John Jackson, mobile analyst with research firm IDC, of T-Mobile taking over the No. 3 slot. “It almost has a psychological significance that trumps the practical significance.” Earlier this month, Legere and Claure went head-to-head over Sprint’s new “All-In” plan, which promises a smartphone and unlimited talk, text and data for $80 a month. When Legere, who is known to pick fights competitors, criticized the plan, Claure fought back on Twitter.