T-Mobile certainly has its hands full as it works to push its $26.5 billion merger with Sprint across the finish line. But, that deal has seemingly pushed to the back burner any updates on the company’s video plans.
T-Mobile late last week earned U.S. Department of Justice approval for the merger by agreeing to a deal that will establish Dish Network as the new fourth national U.S. wireless provider. Dish is paying $5 billion for Sprint’s prepaid wireless businesses and a chunk of Sprint’s 800 MHz spectrum. The company is also getting access to T-Mobile’s wireless network for seven years.
Of course, it’s a major development. It took up almost the entirety of the discussion during T-Mobile’s second-quarter earnings call last Friday, and left no time to discuss T-Mobile’s progress with TVision or its nationwide mobile video service.
But, T-Mobile did make a little time to talk about its in-home broadband plans, and reiterated its goal of having 9.5 million in-home broadband subscribers by 2024. CEO John Legere said that plans for a 5G network and in-home broadband (particularly in rural areas) are still big components of the Sprint merger but that T-Mobile discussed in-home services less in the past few months as it focused on the DoJ’s concerns.
“So, that's an exciting piece that I think will now resurface a bit,” Legere said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.
While T-Mobile didn’t discuss its video plans during its second-quarter earnings call, the company did make some significant announcements during the second quarter.
T-Mobile launched TVision Home, a $90-per-month cable TV service based on the existing service it acquired from Layer3 TV. T-Mobile also announced a content distribution deal with Viacom covering live channels and on-demand video for a mobile TV service T-Mobile will launch later this year.
Details about the mobile service were scarce and continue to be, but Legere’s comments at the time suggested that T-Mobile is planning a service similar to the subscription video aggregation platforms offered by Amazon, Apple, Comcast and Roku.
“TV programming has never been better, but consumers are fed up with rising costs, hidden fees, lousy customer service, non-stop BS. And, MacGyvering together a bunch of subscriptions, apps and dongles isn’t much better. That’s why T-Mobile is on a mission to give consumers a better way to watch what they want, when they want,” said Legere in a statement.
T-Mobile’s video plans seemingly suffered a setback during the second quarter when Jeff Binder, former CEO of Layer3 who was leading T-Mobile’s Home and Entertainment division following the Layer3 acquisition, left the company.