T-Mobile wants to revolutionize the pay-TV industry

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,916   +125
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T-Mobile has single-handedly revolutionized the wireless industry over the past few years thanks to its Un-carrier initiative. Now, the nation’s third largest provider is turning its attention to a different industry in need of reform.

In the wake of a failed merger with Sprint, T-Mobile on Wednesday announced it will be “bringing the Un-carrier to TV” with the launch of a “disruptive” TV service in 2018. The service will be powered by Layer3 TV Inc., which T-Mobile announced today that it is acquiring.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere argues that Big Cable is a lot like the wireless industry was just a few years ago. They lock you into contracts for years, utilize outdated UIs and hold your viewing habits hostage then try to stuff as many services down your throat as possible. “Requiring a landline just to get a better price on cable? It’s complete bullshit.” Valid point, Legere.

Unfortunately, Legere didn’t really delve into the specifics of the service or what will differentiate it from existing offerings. That’s not surprising considering the deal with Layer3 won’t close for another few weeks. Still, there are a few things we can hope for.

Aside from improved customer service and more overall value, T-Mobile could really change the game if it was somehow able to implement true a la carte pricing.

The idea of paying only for the channels you care about and being able to watch them whenever and wherever you want is incredibly appealing and could be a smash hit for T-Mobile. Unfortunately, even as big as T-Mobile is, I don’t think they have the ability to influence the cable industry in such a manner. If Apple and others with deep pockets couldn’t get it done, I don’t really like T-Mobile’s chances.

More information is expected when T-Mobile closes on its deal to buy Layer3 in the coming weeks.

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Posts: 3,332   +3,747
I'm amazed that this guy is allowed to be his company's actual spokesperson. Seriously, how can you take a dude seriously whose message can't even be put on 90% of broadcast media because of foul language? And what about the repeated references to cable TV contracts? Perhaps I'm out of touch but I've never heard of a cable company that requires you to contract into a minimum service period. That's always been one of the things that makes cable much better than satellite. As to this new product..well, it appears to be a set-top streaming box. Maybe it uses T-Mo's wireless network..but that's not clarified anywhere. If it mostly relies on wired broadband how exactly do they expect to get anywhere if net neutrality dies? The ISPs will simply throttle T-Mo's traffic down to nothing and charge them an impossible fee to stop doing it. If it DOES mostly run off wireless there's no way they can deliver on what their promising. Its not technically feasible right now, and his quick slip-in of "5G" near the end should make people doubly suspicious. This sounds more like something that will start out quite limited and only be able to reach its potential when 5G becomes commonplace.


I recently checked, cancelling my land line (a $30 service I'm told) nets me $14 in savings a month. This is because I'm 'off the bundle' so my price for internet goes up (to its regular price I'm told).
“Requiring a landline just to get a better price on cable? It’s complete bullshit.” - T-Mobile CEO John Legere


Posts: 5,637   +3,826
It will be interesting to see how this goes. Personally, I think these late to the gamers are blowing hot air trying to get in on the fad when the fad is basically over.

My "cable TV" - OTA via HTPC with DVR capabilities, Netflix, Hulu, and one show via subscription from iTunes - Fareed Zakaria GPS. This is still way too much to watch, but the cost is still less than $20/mo.

I do not think I would subscribe to this even if T-Mobile gave it to me for free.


Posts: 738   +570
This message could not be more true. Cable companies are constantly rated the WORST companies and the whole thing is a monopoly since you don't really have a choice if you want fast internet. I'm with MetroPCS (basically T-mobile) so I just hope whatever this new service is, gets extended out to Metro customers too.
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Slappy McPhee

Posts: 205   +123
Layer3 recently came to the DFW area. They are a coax and fiber media delivery service. Not wireless. Not sure why that would even be referenced.