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T-Mobile will launch its own "disruptive" pay TV service in 2018

T-Mobile claims its upcoming TV service will be just as disruptive in that industry as it has been in the wireless carrier space.

Published onDecember 13, 2017

  • T-Mobile will acquire cable television company Layer3 TV, which will help the carrier enter into this new business.
  • The carrier claims its fast LTE network will be at the heart of its mobile video plans.
  • The specific plans for T-Mobile’s TV service have not yet been revealed.

T-Mobile will enter into a new business territory in 2018. The wireless phone carrier announced today it will launch its own pay television service next year, and claims it will be as “disruptive” for that industry as it has been in the wireless phone business.

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In today’s press release, T-Mobile also announced it has acquired the cable TV company Layer3 TV, which first launched in 2013. Layer3 TV already provides cable television access to five US cities. It offers customers technology such as set-top boxes that not only have standard cable TV features like DVR, but also direct access to streaming video services like YouTube, along with support for using voice commands, via Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant. T-Mobile did not disclose the specific financial numbers for its acquisition of Layer3 TV.

In his usual grandiose way, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said that the company wanted to take on what he believes is the most hated industry by consumers. Legere said that there are tons of complaints from cable and satellite TV customers about their service, and T-Mobile wants to go after that market with its own TV effort while also providing excellent customer service. At the moment, T-Mobile isn’t revealing much about what its TV service will be like, but the company did say that its LTE network will be at the heart of its mobile video plans.

Of course, there’s already some crossover between wireless carriers and pay TV. AT&T acquired the DirecTV satellite TV service in 2015, and has since launched the DirecTV Now streaming pay TV service. Verizon not only runs its Verizon Wireless phone service, but also has its own Verizon FiOS cable TV and internet service in many cities already. Earlier in 2017, cable TV company Comcast launched its Xfinity Mobile phone service in all the areas where it offers its television service.

It will be interesting to see just how T-Mobile will use the technology and experience of Layer3 TV for its own service, and if it plans to offer something similar nationwide. In the meantime, what do you think of T-Mobile’s latest move to go after another industry?

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