T-Mobile plans pay TV service in 2018 fueled by Layer3 TV acquisition

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T-Mobile is getting into the paid TV business, with the acquisition of Layer3 TV, a TV tech company, and plans announced to launch its own offering sometime next year. T-Mobile’s John Legere revealed the pay TV ambitions for the so-called “Un-carrier” on its YouTube channel today.

The plan involves building a service that avoids long-term contracts, as well as complex bundles and billing. Layer3 TV, which offers streaming TV and online video combined into a single service offering, might provide some idea of what it’ll look like in practice once it launches, though the acquisition could also be more about its underlying technology.

T-Mobile already offers preferential streaming for select video services using its “Binge On” unlimited streaming program – it’ll be interesting to see how entering the streaming over-the-top TV business will affect those relationships with other competing services.

Legere characterized the current state of the paid TV business to that of the mobile industry when T-Mobile began its “uncarrier” campaign, and clearly seeks to try to provoke a similar kind of competition in this legacy-dominated industry.

T-Mobile is aiming its service at both home and mobile consumption, though it’s obviously going to put a lot of emphasis on its mobile delivery solutions and platforms given its other business interest.