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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, 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 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, 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)