T-Mobile to Launch Mobile TV Service in 2018

BELLEVUE, WASH. & DENVER—T-Mobile will launch a new TV service next year and to help make it a reality the wireless carrier has signed a definitive agreement to buy TV technology firm Layer3 TV for an undisclosed sum, the company announced today.

“We’re gonna fix the pain points and bring real choice to consumers across the country,” said T-Mobile President and CEO John Legere in a press release announcing the new service.

Legere cited consumer discontent with “crappy customer service, clunky technology and outrageous bills loaded with fees” as the reason consumers “hate their TV providers.” “I can’t wait to start fighting for consumers here!” he said.

This is not T-Mobile’s first TV play. The company has sold customers packages with the ability to stream as much mobile video as they wanted and provided them with a free Netflix subscription.

The latest move will leverage Layer3 TV’s offering that today integrates TV, streaming online video content and social media in five U.S. cities. T-Mobile will work with Layer3 TV’s technology and talent to launch its own TV service around the country in 2018.

The company’s wireless network has increased the download speeds of its LTE network by 28 percent over the past year, it said.

“And, T-Mobile’s network just continues to expand and improve with new nationwide low-band spectrum and more advanced technologies deployed than any other wireless company,” the press release says.

T-Mobile paid $7.99 billion (opens in new tab) in the 600MHz auction earlier this year, acquiring 31MHz nationwide of low-band spectrum. The total represents 45 percent of all low-band spectrum sold in the FCC TV broadcast spectrum auction. 

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.