Technology 3 min read

T-Mobile Wants to get Into the Television Market with Layer3 TV

Mandritoiu |

Mandritoiu |

T-Mobile acquired the startup Layer3 TV to jump into the paid TV business sometime in 2018, promising to “Uncarrier” the TV service the same way it did with wireless.

By revenue (and subscribers), T-Mobile is the third largest wireless telecommunication provider in the U.S. market with $37.24 billion USD revenue, after AT&T ($163.79 billion) and Verizon ($125.09 billion).

As the U.S. mobile market is more saturated than ever, T-Mobile is seeking new ways to increase its clients’ loyalty and tap into other brands’ customer base.

Last week, the carrier, a subsidiary of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, has announced a paid TV service to be launched sometime in the next year.

T-Mobile promises to “Uncarrier” the traditional TV industry.Click To Tweet

A Blow to the old TV Model

T-Mobile intends to make a foray into the paid-TV business, currently dominated by a handful of cable and satellite operators, such as Dish’s Sling TV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV.

But this is a direct shot at AT&T that, after the acquisition of DirecTV, is the biggest pay-TV service provider with 25 million subscribers.

A hyped-up John Legere, T-Mobile CEO, announced the imminent launch of a nationwide subscription TV service that would radically disrupt the streaming TV industry the same way it did with the mobile industry via its “Uncarrier” initiative that started in 2013.

“We’re gonna build TV for people who love TV,” Legere said in a video. “This will be as big, if not bigger than the revolution we created in wireless.”

According to Legere, American customers are currently being forced to endure multi-years contracts, bad customer service, and outrageous bills on top of that.

Customers of T-Mobile’s new offering, however, wouldn’t be locked in long-term contracts that “hold them hostages” for years and would have a “real choice” and better value with a TV that embraces the mobile age and 5G internet.

T-Mobile’s to “Uncarrier” the Streaming TV Business, via Layer3 TV

T-Mobile will use the technology and talent of Layer3 TV, the Denver-based start-up it is on the process of acquiring.

Layer3 TV is already available in five U.S. cities, where it offers a set-box that give access to 275+ HD channels, 25,000 on-demand titles, and 1000-show DVR.

Legere said that the deal with Layer3 TV would be closed in a few weeks, and they would immediately launch the “un-carrier” campaign within the traditional “broken” TV industry.

The news seems to have sent ripples across the industry already. Soon after T-Mobile announcement, its stock rose 1.3%. Both T-Mobile big competitors, AT&T and Verizon, saw their stock get down by a fraction, while Charter and Comcast fell by 1 and 2% respectively.

Will T-Mobile be able to “uncarrier” TV?

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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