In what T-Mobile CEO John Legere calls the next phase of their ‘un-carrier’ strategy, the wireless provider announced an acquisition of IPTV pay-TV provider Layer3. The acquisition catapults T-Mobile into the rapidly evolving video business.
“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 in a press release.
Layer3 offers a full featured pay-TV service, including 4K video, but leases capacity from existing broadband providers to deliver the IPTV service. Current Layer 3 markets include Los Angeles; Chicago; Washington D.C.; Dallas/Ft. Worth; and Longmont, Colo. Layer3 has not published total subscriber counts.
The move gives T-Mobile a video strategy that can match larger rivals, including Verizon and AT&T, who have extensive pay-TV holdings, which they are increasingly integrating into their wireless offers. Comcast has also entered the wireless business and Charter will soon follow. Mobile video is clearly a focus for broadband providers of all types, wireless or otherwise.
T-Mobile says they intend to use the Layer3 acquisition to launch a disruptive TV service in 2018. Few details were provided. “Our vision is to launch a TV service that will work on any device or Internet connection,” a T-Mobile spokesperson tells Telecompetitor.
“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 in the press release. “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.”