Cellphone company T-Mobile to launch TV service next year

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This morning, the fiery wireless carrier announced that they have acquired Layer3 TV and plan to use its technology to launch a TV service in 2018.

In a blog post and companion video, T-Mobile said that it "the Un-carrier will build TV for people who love TV but are exhausted of the multi-year service contracts, confusing sky-high bills, exploding bundles, clunky technologies, outdated UIs, closed systems and lousy customer service of today's traditional TV providers".

The next Uncarrier move for T-Mobile is a move into the streaming TV space. T-Mobile has since moved to offer only unlimited-usage plans to new customers. Mainly, the company's announcement focused on trash-talking incumbent "Big Cable and Satellite TV" and asserting that the market is ripe for disruption.

T-Mobile has already taken steps to connect its wireless business to video as the telecom, tech and media industries grow closer together.

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere was quick to take aim at the historically very bad customer service and satisfaction ratings that have plagued the traditional cable sector for the better part of a generation.

Layer3 TV and T-Mobile announced a deal agreement today.

It's unclear at this time what T-Mobile's over-the-top TV service will look like, and whether, like the bundling schemes that the company is criticizing, it will be offered at a discount with wireless service. But it did invoke its hatred of long-term contracts, something that has made T-Mobile's contract-less phone service popular. Layer3 TV CEO Jeff Binder will continue to lead the operation and will join T-Mobile's senior team as the head of T-Mobile's integrated strategy for video and entertainment. One of the earliest OTT TV services was DISH's Sling TV, which launched in 2015 and has slowly gained popularity among cord-cutters and cord-nevers. As recent wireless price wars have squeezed the margins on voice and data service, the new frontier is offering access to exclusive video content that can lure customers and serve as a platform for advertising.

While financial details pertaining to the deal weren't disclosed, Variety magazine reported that 4-year-old Layer3 TV "had raised $72 million in funding to date". T-Mobile also said it's launching the new service in an effort to disrupt cable networks.

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