CNBC Exclusive: CNBC Transcript: Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure Speaks with CNBC's David Faber on "Squawk on the Street" Today

WHEN: Today, Thursday, September 11th

WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk on the Street"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" today. Following are links to the interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000309595 and http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000309769.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

DAVID FABER: WELCOME BACK TO "SQUAWK ON THE STREET" I'M DAVID FABER AT COMMUNACOPIA, GOLDMAN SACHS' ANNUAL COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA CONFERENCE. I'M JOINED NOW BY SPRINT'S NEW CEO MARCELO CLAURE, WHO JOINS US HERE, PRIOR TO YOUR PRESENTATION THAT WILL TAKE PLACE ABOUT AN HOUR FROM NOW OR SO. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

MARCELO CLAURE: NO, THANK YOU. THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY. HAPPY TO BE HERE.

FABER: I SAT DOWN WITH YOUR MAIN SHAREHOLDER, MASA SON WHO RUNS SOFTBANK, WHICH CONTROLS ROUGHLY 80% OF SPRINT, EARLIER THIS YEAR. HE AND I TALKED ABOUT, AT THAT POINT, THE NEED FOR SCALE AT SPRINT. I ASKED HIM WITHOUT THAT SCALE, WHAT ARE THE CHANCES FOR SUCCESS? HE SAID TO ME, AND I WENT BACK TO CHECK THE TRANSCRIPT, IT'S A LONG SHOT. DO YOU THINK IT'S A LONG SHOT?

CLAURE: NO. I MEAN THE REASON WHY I TOOK THIS JOB IS BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN THE PROSPECT OF SPRINT. I BELIEVE THAT WE ONLY HAVE 16% MARKET SHARE, SO I SEE A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY. I SEE A CHANCE THAT THIS INDUSTRY CAN BE A LOT SIMPLER. SO I'M IN IT AND I THINK WE HAVE A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO CONTINUE TO GROW SPRINT.

FABER: WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY SIMPLER?

CLAURE: I MEAN OUR INDUSTRY IS CONFUSING. IF YOU JUST SAW THE LAUNCH OF THE iPHONE 6 AND THEN YOU SEE EVERY CARRIER THROW DIFFERENT OFFERS, I THINK IF YOU ARE A CONSUMER AND YOU LOOK AT ALL THAT, IT IS CONFUSING. I MEAN, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT'S THE RATE PLAN, WHAT'S THE COST OF THE PHONE, HOW LONG IS THE CONTRACT. SO I THINK WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO DO IS TRY TO SIMPLIFY AND BRING A SIMPLIFIED PROPOSITION TO CONSUMERS. AND PEOPLE WANT THAT.

FABER: SO WHAT IS THAT? I MEAN, I COULD BE CONFUSED BY WHAT YOU GUYS HAVE OFFERED RECENTLY. YOU ARE AT $100 I THINK FOR TEN LINES. THAT SEEMS PRETTY GOOD VERSUS YOUR COMPETITORS. THE LATEST IS THE iPHONE OFFER FOR THE 6 AND THE 6 PLUS, AS WELL. WHERE IT'S WHAT? $50 FOR UNLIMITED TALK, TEXT, DATA. SO THAT IS SIMPLIFYING THINGS IN YOUR OPINION?

CLAURE: I MEAN WHAT WE TRY TO DO IS HAVE A PRETTY SIMPLE VALUE PROPOSITION. WE CALL IT THE BEST VALUE FOR WIRELESS. AND IF YOU ARE A FAMILY, WE MAKE IT SIMPLE. FOR $100, BRING UP TO TEN DEVICES AND GO AT IT WITH 20 GIGABYTES OF DATA, WHICH IS PRETTY MUCH DOUBLE WHAT ANYBODY ELSE OFFERS. AND IF YOU ARE AN INDIVIDUAL, IT'S EVEN SIMPLER. $50 A MONTH, UNLIMITED. GO AT IT, ALL THE TEXT, ALL THE DATA, ALL THE TALKING. SO I THINK WE SIMPLIFY IT.

FABER: NOW YOU ARE ALSO POTENTIALLY BRINGING PRICES DOWN. SOME WOULD SAY YOU ARE IN A PRICE WAR. AT&T IS REPRICING ITS ENTIRE BASE OF CUSTOMERS IN A WAY. T-MOBILE HAS BEEN EXTRAORDINARILY AGGRESSIVE. AND I THINK, IN FACT, JOHN LEGERE LAST NIGHT ON CNBC SAID HE BELIEVES BY THE END OF THE YEAR, BY THE END OF THE YEAR HE WILL PASS YOU, SPRINT, IN CUSTOMERS. DO YOU THINK THAT WILL HAPPEN?

CLAURE: I MEAN, I THINK IT'S EARLY TO TELL. YOU KNOW, WE ARE FOCUSED ON RUNNING A COMPANY PROFITABLE. WE ARE RUNNING ON HAVING A BETTER QUALITY OF CUSTOMER. SO IF YOU OUR ADS AND OUR OFFERS, THEY ARE AIMED AT BRINGING BACK PROFITABILITY. SO, YOU KNOW, WE ARE NOT IN THE GAME OF CHASING T-MOBILE OR T-MOBILE CHASING US.

FABER: HOW DO YOU BRING BACK PROFITABILITY IF YOU ARE CUTTING PRICE, AND I WOULD ASSUME THEN, CRIMPING YOUR MARGINS?

CLAURE: I MEAN, IF YOU LOOK AT – YOU KNOW, WE'VE DONE A COUPLE OF THINGS, I THINK, ON MY FOURTH DAY ON THE JOB WE BASICALLY BROUGHT SOME NEW OFFERS. AND THE NEW OFFERS DOESN'T NECESSARILY HINDER PROFITABILITY. THE NEW OFFERS MAKE IT SIMPLE FOR CONSUMERS TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WE ARE OFFERING. I THINK OUR VALUE PROPOSITION WASN'T CLEAR IN THE PAST. SO WE ARE MAKING IT SIMPLE. THAT DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN, YOU KNOW, WE ARE GOING TO HIT PROFITABILITY. ON THE SECOND WAY TO LOOK AT IT IS, I THINK WE WERE LETTING A LOT OF CUSTOMERS INTO OUR NETWORK FROM A CREDIT PERSPECTIVE AND THAT JUST BRINGS PROBLEMS IN THE FUTURE. SO WE HAVE TIGHTENED OUR CREDIT POLICIES. THE AMOUNT OF PRIME CUSTOMERS WE ARE BRINGING IN IS SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT THAN WE WERE BEFORE. AND A PRIME CUSTOMER THAT BUYS A HANDSET FROM YOU MEANS LONG-TERM PROFITABILITY.

FABER: AND TO THOSE WHO SAY, WELL, YOU KNOW, YOU DON'T HAVE THE SCALE. YOU HAVE A NICE SPECTRUM POSITION IN SOME WAYS, BUT YOU'VE ALSO GOT $27 BILLION OF DEBT ON YOUR BALANCE SHEET. AND WHILE YOU HAVE SOFTBANK THERE, IT'S NOT NECESSARILY GOING TO BE THE CASE THAT THEY ARE GOING TO UNLIMITEDLY FUND YOU, SO TO SPEAK. THAT YOU ARE BOXED IN WHEN YOU'VE GOT VERIZON AND AT&T HERE AND THEN AN INCREDIBLY COMPETITIVE T-MOBILE. HOW DO YOU SUCCEED?

CLAURE: I MEAN, I LOOK AT IT A BIT DIFFERENTLY. I LOOK AT IT, YES, WE DO HAVE A LOT OF DEBT, BUT WE ARE ALSO GENERATING GOOD EBITDA THAT ALLOWS US TO HAVE THAT SORT OF DEBT. WHEN I LOOK FROM A COMPETITIVE PERSPECTIVE, I THINK THERE IS ROOM FOR EVERYBODY. THIS IS THE BIGGEST MARKET IN THE WORLD. YOU KNOW, CONSUMERS ARE LOOKING FOR A GREAT VALUE. AND THAT IS WHAT WE ARE BRINGING TO THEM. AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT IN THIS FIRST 18 DAYS SINCE WE LAUNCHED OUR PRICING, WE'VE SEEN GREAT THINGS HAPPENING.

FABER: SO WHEN SHOULD I JUDGE YOU? WHEN SHOULD I SAY, OK LET'S SIT DOWN AGAIN, MARCELO. I WANT TO TALK TO YOU AND SAY WHETHER OR NOT THE SIMPLICITY THAT YOU HAVE INTRODUCED AND THE WAY YOU HAVE GONE ABOUT TRYING TO BUILD YOUR SUBSCRIBER BASE, WHEN SHOULD I SAY, OK, YOU HAVE SUCCEEDED OR IT HASN'T WORKED?

CLAURE: I THINK IT'S GOING TO TAKE TIME. BUT I THINK WE SHOULD SIT DOWN EVERY QUARTER AND WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT HOW WE ARE GETTING BETTER AND IN WHAT AREAS WE ARE GETTING BETTER. SO, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE DONE A LOT. IT HAS ONLY BEEN THREE WEEKS ON THE JOB, SO I THINK WE ARE FOCUSED ON THE RIGHT THINGS. I THINK WE ARE BACK IN THE GAME. I THINK PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT US. THERE'S A LOT MORE PEOPLE COMING TO OUR STORES. WE ARE SELLING MORE PHONES. WE ARE ATTRACTING BETTER CUSTOMERS. SO IT'S BEEN A REALLY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, BUT I THINK, YOU KNOW, WE ARE FOCUSING ON THE BASICS, ON THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE BUSINESS. AND I THINK THAT IS A GOOD START. HOWEVER, THIS IS A LONG JOURNEY. YOU KNOW, WE'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE AN APPROPRIATE COST TO SERVE. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOMETHING THAT NOBODY ELSE HAS. WE HAVE A GREAT SPECTRUM POSITION. I MEAN, 160 MEGAHERTZ. WHAT CONSUMERS CARE ABOUT IS DATA. DATA, YOU NEED CAPACITY. AND WITH OUR SPECTRUM POSITION, I THINK WE ARE PRIVILEGED. NOW THAT MEANS WE'VE GOT TO WORK HARD. WE HAVE TO BUILD A NETWORK, BUT I CAN TELL YOU, I LOOK AT RATINGS EVERY SINGLE MORNING AND MY NETWORK GETS BETTER DAY AFTER DAY.

FABER: IT DOES. DAY AFTER DAY.

CLAURE: EVERY SINGLE DAY.

FABER: EVEN ONLY OVER THREE WEEKS YOU CAN SEE IMPROVEMENT.

CLAURE: WELL IT IS A LOT BETTER THAN IT WAS THREE WEEKS AGO. AND IT WAS A LOT BETTER THAN IT WAS SIX MONTHS AGO.

FABER: YOU KNOW, YOU WERE LIVING A NICE LIFE IN MIAMI. BRIGHT STAR, SUCCESSFUL COMPANY, YOUR COMPANY. AN ENTREPRENEUR. I WOULD ASSUME, NOT TO BE PRESUMPTIOUS, PLENTY OF MONEY. WHY WOULD YOU TAKE THIS JOB?

CLAURE: BECAUSE I THINK IT'S ONE, YOU KNOW, I LIKE TO BE THE UNDERDOG. THIS IS A GREAT JOB. I MEAN, SPRINT IS A GREAT COMPANY. THE CHALLENGES HELP TO MAKE SPRINT A GREATER COMPANY. AND I LOVE CHALLENGES. I WAS LUCKY TO SELL MY COMPANY TO MY LARGEST SHAREHOLDER OF SPRINT. HE IDENTIFIED THAT I COULD BE THE LEADER FOR THE NEXT FACE OF SPRINT. AND YOU KNOW, HOW LUCKY CAN I BE? 43 YEARS OLD RUNNING A COMPANY WITH OVER 32,000 EMPLOYEES AND ONE OF THE LEADING TELCOS IN THE WORLD.

FABER: YOU'RE ONLY 43 YEARS OLD. YEAH, YOU'VE GOT A LOT OF ROAD AHEAD OF YOU. CHARLIE ERGEN ON A RECENT CONFERENCE CALL SAID OF YOU, YOU ARE THE RIGHT GUY TO GO TO WAR. IS IT GOING TO BE A WAR?

CLAURE: I MEAN, I CALL IT – AND THANKS, CHARLIE, FOR THAT COMMENT. BUT I LOOK AT IT, YOU KNOW, EVERY DAY WE BATTLE FOR CONSUMERS. SO IT'S A BATTLE. WE MARKET OUR PRODUCTS. WE HAVE THREE, YOU KNOW, VERY TOUGH COMPETITORS. AND I GUESS WE GO EVERY DAY TO WIN THIS BATTLE. AND THE BATTLE IS HOW MANY SUBSCRIBERS COME AND HOW MANY SUBSCRIBERS GO AWAY. AND OUR GOAL IS, YOU KNOW, WE'VE SAID IT SINCE DAY ONE, THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS WE'VE GOT TO GET MORE CUSTOMERS COMING TO SPRINT THAN LEAVING. AND TO BE HONEST, IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, HASN'T BEEN THE CASE. SO NOW WE HAVE A GREAT CHALLENGE. WE ARE ONLY BEING MEASURED BY THAT. AND I MUST SHARE WITH YOU, THAT WE HAVE HAD A COUPLE OF DAYS WHERE WE HAD MORE CUSTOMERS COMING THAN LEAVING AND MASA HASN'T SEEN THAT SINCE THE DAY THAT HE BOUGHT SPRINT. SO OUR OFFERS ARE WORKING. YOU KNOW, WHAT WE ARE TELLING CONSUMER IS THAT IT'S VERY SIMPLE. WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO WHEN YOU SEE ALL THESE ADS AND THIS CONFUSION, LOOK AT THE TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP. WHICH IS HOW MUCH DOES YOUR PHONE COST, HOW MUCH DOES YOUR PLAN DO. AND THEN COMPARE US. AND I GUARANTEE YOU THAT WHILE I HAVE THIS JOB, IS THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE THE BEST VALUE FOR WIRELESS EVERY SINGLE DAY.

FABER: ALRIGHT. YOU'RE GOING TO KEEP THE COMPANY IN KANSAS CITY?

CLAURE: ABSOLUTELY. THAT'S WHERE THE HERITAGE IS. YOU KNOW, IT'S BEEN THERE SINCE 1899. AND WE'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE THAT'S WHERE IT STAYS.

FABER: MARCELO CLAURE, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. APPRECIATE IT.

CLAURE: THANK YOU. THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY.

FABER: AND WE HOPE TO HAVE YOU BACK EVERY QUARTER. I THINK I HEARD YOU SAY THAT.

CLAURE: WE WILL. WE'LL MEASURE EVERY QUARTER.

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