Mobile To Enter Streaming Video Arena After Buying Layer3 TV

T-Mobile TV service coming 2018

T-Mobile US CEO John Legere said the operator plans to introduce a disruptive new TV service next year with cable startup Layer3, which it has agreed to acquire.

The mobile network touts the move as a measure to "un-carrier your TV" sometime during 2019.

Likewise, Dish Network's modular, a la carte-oriented Sling TV, has been in the market for three years and has almost 2 million users.

"People want their TV - they just don't want it from Big Cable", he added.

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T-Mobile latest venture comes at a time when AT&T offers its own DirecTV Now streaming TV packages, and is in the midst of purchasing Time Warner. Layer3 TV, Inc.is a service operating in five cities that combines TV, streaming video content and social media content under one roof.

T-Mobile plans to launch a subscription service with advertising next year using Layer3's technology platform and relationships with content providers.

In L.A., it offers 275 channels and a DVR box for $75 monthly, which isn't that competitive with cable. The new service will combine streaming TV and online video at a lower cost and doesn't restrict customers to lengthy contracts or bundles that include channels or content they don't want to watch.

T-Mobile said that until the deal closes, there will be no changes to Layer3 TV's operations but indicated the existing service will be superseded by something else.

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Binder said Layer3's national service will be "inspired by how mobile works now".

Not only does that philosophy diverge from T-Mobile's roots as a budget-minded alternative to AT&T and Verizon, but it also raises questions about whether Layer3 has a compelling offer - and whether enough consumers are willing to pay top-dollar for it.

"T-Mobile is the only wireless carrier [that's] growing".

T-Mobile CEO John Legere was quick to take aim at the historically bad customer service and satisfaction ratings that have plagued the traditional cable sector for the better part of a generation. If the price is right, especially when combined with cell service, T-Mobile could have a hit on its hands.

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