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T-Mobile CEO Warns Cable Industry to Prepare for Competition

December 27, 2018, 2:00 PM UTC

T-Mobile CEO John Legere on Thursday promised his company would debut its cable television competitor in 2019, not this year as originally planned.

The telecommunications company bought Denver startup Layer3 TV for $325 million one year ago and said it would use the acquisition to attack the cable market with a new service in 2018. But no service has been forthcoming yet.

“In 2019, we’ll take our first steps to take on another stupid, broken, arrogant industry—maybe the stupidest, brokenest, arrogantest industry of all: cable and satellite TV,” Legere wrote in a blog post on Thursday, with his usual aggressive rhetoric. But Legere offered no details about the upcoming service and did not explain why it had been delayed.

Still, he predicted great success for T-Mobile (TMUS) as a disruptive new entrant into cable, which has already been suffering significant losses due to cord cutting.

“The Cableopoly doesn’t know how to treat customers or how to compete,” Legere wrote. “And when they face competition, things will go to hell. That’s what will start to happen to Big Cable in 2019.”

The announcement came as part of Legere’s annual post making predictions and boasts about the upcoming year. In the past, the outspoken CEO has had some hits and some misses. He correctly predicted Verizon’s (VZ) short video service Go90 would fail, but also predicted the demise of satellite TV provider Dish Network (DISH), which still survives as an independent company.

Legere on Thursday also said he was “optimistic” that regulators will approve the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint next year. Announced in April, the combination of the third and fourth largest wireless carriers gained national security clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS, last week. Tougher competition reviews by the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice remain ongoing.

He also took shots at rivals Verizon and AT&T (T), saying that T-Mobile would offer faster 5G wireless service nationwide, while his competitors would have more limited offerings. And he predicted Verizon would sell its digital media and advertising unit, Oath.