T-Mobile Touts Wireless Broadband, Pay TV Ambitions
T-Mobile’s pending merger with Sprint and its recent acquisition of Layer3 TV will help to power a new “quad play” that includes speedy wireless broadband and pay TV services, company execs said on Tuesday’s Q1 earnings call.
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With an eye toward 450 Mbps via a national 5G network, “of course, we can be a competitor in that [broadband services] space,” Braxton Carter, T-Mobile’s CFO, said, when asked if wireless can be viewed as a wireline replacement. “And this is a market that is incredibly underserved…There’s a huge opportunity here for us to bring real competiveness to that market for the first time.”
T-Mobile’s ambitions for entering the TV business, via the Layer3 TV deal, is also poised to ratchet up with the proposed combination with Sprint, he said.
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“Now you have a network, where you can provide...IPTV service not just through [the] home broadband connection…but through a wireless alternative to their home broadband as well,” Carter added.
T-Mobile’s Q4 release also shed a bit more detail on the Layer3 TV acquisition, which closed on January 22. As a result of that deal, T-Mobile included an adjustment of 5,000 “branded prepaid customers” to its reported subscriber base as of January 22. Customer activity from Layer3 TV post acquisition was included in T-Mobile’s net customer additions for Q1 2018. T-Mobile reported 1.43 million total net adds in Q1, which included 199,000 branded prepaid net adds.
Prior to its acquisition by T-Mobile, Layer3 TV was focused on an in-home, IP-delivered pay TV offering in select markets that include Los Angeles; Chicago; Washington D.C.; Dallas/Ft. Worth; and Longmont, Colo. (in partnership with a municipal provider called NextLight).
Looking ahead, T-Mobile has plans to launch a national OTT TV service later this year. T-Mobile has not announced pricing and packaging for that offering, but it’s expected to compete with traditional MVPDs (cable, telco and satellite) as well as a growing mix of internet-based, virtual MVPDs that today include DirecTV Now, Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV, fuboTV and PlayStation Vue.
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