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T-Mobile Says Its New Fixed 5G Internet Service Doesn't Support Hulu + Live TV

T-Mobile Home Internet gateway
(Image credit: T-Mobile)

T-Mobile has shed light on just which live steaming service(s) isn't compatible with its just launched fixed 5G internet service, and it's a rather conspicuous omission: It's Hulu + Live TV. 

"T-Mobile Home Internet supports most video streaming services, like YouTube TV or Netflix," a company spokesperson told Next TV. "However, at the moment, Hulu + Live TV is not supported due to a technical requirement in delivering the service. We’re working closely with Hulu to resolve this as quickly as possible."

The revelation sheds light on a two-month-old mystery tied to the T-Mobile Home Internet fine print (opens in new tab), which says the platform doesn't support "certain live streaming services." 

But it also exacerbates competitive suspicions: As in, why can't T-Mobile, which just entered into an expanded agreement with Google (opens in new tab) to make YouTube TV the flagship video product bundled with its new fixed wireless service, solve a technical bug so it can also support YouTube TV's biggest live-streaming rival, a platform with more than 4 million subscribers?

And while there are plenty of cases where OTT device ecosystems don't support certain streaming apps, how many times have you heard about an ISP being incompatible with a streaming service?

Wednesday Was Actually Launch Day

T-Mobile officially launched its 5G Home Internet service Wednesday (opens in new tab), touting availability of the $60-a-month, 100 Mbps-speed fixed broadband platform in 30 million U.S. homes. At a press event for the service, T-Mobile said it could have as many as 8 million fixed wireless customers by 2024, although analysts have been skeptical. But the Home Internet service isn't exactly brand new--T-Mobile has had a pilot program in place for fixed wireless for over a year, and all the marketing material has already been out there for months. 

T-Mobile’s little 6-pt munition was first reported on back in February by technologist David Zatz. And the issue came bubbling back up on Twitter Wednesday, amid T-Mobile's formal introduction of its 5G service. 

Last week, T-Mobile announced the shuttering of its TVision platform, just six months after relaunching the pay TV service as a live-streaming/vMVPD platform. As T-Mobile seeks to pry wireline broadband marketshare from the cable industry, TVision was billed as the bundled video compliment to the strategy. But also last week, T-Mobile simultaneously announced that it will instead bundle third-party live-streaming services YouTube TV and Philo at discount with its various wireless products.

It's notable that T-Mobile does have a relationship with Hulu, a joint venture that is now controlled by Disney. Sprint, which was acquired last year by T-Mobile, offers the Hulu VOD ad-supported base package free to unlimited wireless customers. 

But at least for now, T-Mobile live-streaming partners don't have to worry about competing with Hulu on the Home Internet service. 


(Image credit: T-Mobile)
Daniel Frankel
Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!