T-Mobile targets TV with Layer3 acquisition
December 14, 2017
By Colin Mann
US mobile telco T-Mobile – which styles itself as the Un-carrier – has unveiled the next phase in its mobile video strategy, planning to enter what it says is the $100+ billion pay-TV market in 2018 with the acquisition of cable TV start-up Layer3 TV, aiming to bring consumers real choice, working with Layer3 TV’s technology and talent to create T-Mobile’s new TV service.
“People love their TV, but they hate their TV providers. And worse, they have no real choice but to simply take it – the crappy customer service, clunky technology and outrageous bills loaded with fees! That’s where we come in. We’re gonna fix the pain points and bring real choice to consumers across the country,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “It only makes sense for the Un-carrier to do to TV what we’re doing to wireless: change it for good! Personally, I can’t wait to start fighting for consumers here!”
T-Mobile says it will build TV for people who love TV but are tired of the multi-year service contracts, confusing sky-high bills, exploding bundles, clunky technologies, outdated UIs, closed systems and lousy customer service of today’s traditional TV providers. “And people are tired of all the BS that comes bundled with Big Cable and Satellite TV – America’s #1 most-hated industry. In fact, eight of the 10 brands with the lowest customer satisfaction scores in America are cable and TV providers,” it claims.
“We’re in the midst of the Golden Age of TV, and yet people have never been more frustrated by the status quo created by Big Cable and Satellite TV,” said Mike Sievert, Chief Operating Officer of T-Mobile. “That’s because the world is changing – with mobile video, streaming services, cord cutting, original content and more — and yet, the old guard simply can’t – or won’t – evolve. It’s time for a disruptor to shake things up and give people real choice like only the Un-carrier can.”
According to T-Mobile, it has long been a leader in mobile video – first, giving customers the freedom to stream as much as they want with Binge On and T-Mobile ONE, and then giving T-Mobile ONE families a free Netflix subscription included at no extra charge. “All of these Un-carrier moves sent shockwaves through the wireless industry, prompting competitors to continue to follow T-Mobile’s lead,” it notes.
Currently, Layer3 TV delivers a product that seamlessly integrates the best of television, streaming online video content and social media and is available in five cities across the US. With Layer3 TV’s technology and team, T-Mobile plans to launch its own disruptive new TV service in 2018, tapping into the content available from creators today to disrupt legacy cable and satellite TV’s distribution model. The new TV service will take full advantage of T-Mobile’s nationwide retail presence, brand and sales and customer care organisations.
“No market needs Un-carrier-ing more than pay TV, so we’re completely stoked to join T-Mobile in disrupting the status quo,” declared Jeff Binder, CEO of Layer3 TV, Inc. “Together with T-Mobile, we’re going to ditch everything you hate about cable and make everything you love about TV better.”
At the heart of T-Mobile’s mobile video strategy is the nation’s fastest LTE network – a network built to handle customers’ growing appetite for mobile video. “Since last year, wireless customers are using 37.5 per cent more data on average, and T-Mobile’s network has only gotten faster – with download speeds increasing 28 per cent in the last year,” says the company. “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. Plus, T-Mobile is out in front again on 5G. The Un-carrier was first to commit to build a nationwide 5G network and has already begun working on that by deploying 5G-ready equipment.”