T-Mobile to offer wireless-only TV and home internet bundle if Sprint merger is approved

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T-Mobile hasn’t said much about its streaming TV ambitions since its Layer3 TV acquisition earlier this year, but a recent FCC filing has shed a bit of light on what T-Mo’s TV plans look like if it’s allowed to merge with Sprint.

In the filing, T-Mobile explains that if it’s allowed to merge with Sprint, the New T-Mobile “will be able to offer the first wireless only bundle for T.V. + home internet”. T-Mo adds that thanks to the capacity and coverage that its 5G network would have thanks to merging with Sprint, the New T-Mobile will bring 4K, wireless-first TV to urban and rural customers.

T-Mo completed its acquisition of Layer3 TV in early 2018. The company has said that it plans to launch a pay TV service in 2018, but we haven’t heard much about it lately. We still don’t have a lot of info about its channel lineup, pricing, or anything like that, but we do know that the combination of the Layer3 TV acquisition and the Sprint merger both play an important role in T-Mo’s TV plans.

T-Mobile also talked a bit about what it hopes to do for in-home broadband if its merger with Sprint is approved. For example, T-Mo says that its 5G network will offer high-speed wireless broadband with speeds faster than 100Mbps to 66 percent of the U.S. by 2021, with that number growing to 90 percent by 2024. T-Mobile anticipates that it expects to deliver broadband internet to 9.5 million people by 2024, which would make it the fourth largest internet service provider in the U.S. by subscriber count.

Via: FierceVideo
Source: FCC (PDF)

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  • The Borg

    and if the merger isn’t approved, what’s they’re plans then?

    • Steve_NYC

      Their plans will be exactly the same regardless. It’s the dumbest carrot I’ve ever seen. If we’re allowed to merge with Sprint, we’ll be super competitive, if you don’t allow us to merge, we won’t be competitive… wait a sec….

      • marque2

        It’s about the unused bandwidth Sprint has. Sprint has tons of it but not enough money to develop it. Without the merger Tmo won’t have the bandwidth to do much of the stuff they want to do on the cheap – they would have to charge more because of network congestion. A lot of you anti business in general types have your heads in the sand and can’t see the big picture. Tmo is the most bandwidth starved of the major carriers and Sprint is the most cash starved with the most surplus undeveloped bandwidth. Tmo-Sprint is a match made in heaven.

        • SirStephenH

          Sprint has access to plenty of money through its owner SoftBank. SoftBank just wants to take the easy way out instead of investing its money into what is needed for Sprint to thrive.

        • iCrap

          sprint loses money. you can’t keep pumping money into a loser.

        • marque2

          Dude, take a few business courses. Softbank doesn’t have infinite money either. They paid cash I believe on the order of 25 billion dollars for Sprint and it loses money every year. Softbank can’t afford that either and would eventually shut the whole thing down.
          Just because a company has some money, or a person has some money doesn’t mean there is an infinite bucket.
          That might be why millennials like socialism – they have no clue about money and how it is generated.

        • SirStephenH

          They bought it but then put little work and investment into it. They’re either the worst investors in the world or they just bought Sprint for it’s assets with the intention of just holding on to it until they could get a deal.

        • JStatt

          SoftBank actually wants to get out of Sprint and they will if this merger falls through. They need the network to start making significant profit and have already sunk billions into it. No one does this crap philathropically. SoftBank has money by making good ROI and they don’t get that right now from sprint. They will stay after merger because the company after merging has a good chance to become a big (and profitable) player in the space

        • SirStephenH

          This deal is a merger, not a buyout. SoftBank would still have a significant stake in the resulting company, they just don’t want to have to make the investments needed to make Sprint a success.

        • JStatt

          Re-read my comment. SoftBank will stay after the merger because it actually had a chance of earning them a profit. That’s the entire point of my comment. Without this merger, SoftBank is getting out of money bleeding Sprint. And really merger vs buyout is semantics because no matter what SoftBank is letting go of operational majority control. They just want to finally make money on it.

        • Steve_NYC

          It’s not about being anti-business. it’s about those who are anti-competitive. There are assets swaps and asset purchases all the time. There’s nothing surprising about that. That match made in heaven is a corporate match. It doesn’t help the competitive landscape. I’m not anti-business by any stretch. Just realize the argument is, “we can’t innovate unless we remove competition”. That’s what’s being said. You don’t have to be anti-business to know that this is not a positive outcome (unless we’re talking stock prices).

      • iCrap

        wireless companies are like real estate developers. real estate is a finite resource. without the access to the spectrum that sprint his, it would take 2-3 times longer for tmo to build out a 5g network as it would have to acquire spectrum elsewhere.

    • Hurlamania

      Oh and don’t forget once the merger is complete prices are going to drop drastically plans are going to be the cheapest ever. Most likely they’ll just reduce the price increases that they just did on their OnePlus and do something with that weird plan they have and say that it’s cheaper

    • SirStephenH

      The same plans as if the merger was approved…

  • Hurlamania

    That’s why they had to drop the $25 unlimited 4G LTE hotspot so they can offer it as home internet service for three times the price

    • iCrap

      lol luckily i added it to my tablet before they dropped it.

  • riverhorse

    Get behind the merger, as this will need humongous bandwidth & other resources. I think Tmo will still need to acquire other providers, satellite / cable providers make ideal targets.

    • justin l

      explains why Dish network is against it

  • adampk17

    I would do back-flips if I had another viable option at home for internet and TV rather than Comcast. Please don’t suck at this, T-mo!

  • Albert Orange

    100Mbps sounds slow, Most cable companies are offering Gigabit now. The service had better be very cheap to compete.

    • GoFarKid

      “T-Mo says that its 5G network will offer high-speed wireless broadband with speeds faster than 100Mbps to 66 percent of the U.S. by 2021, with that number growing to 90 percent by 2024”

      Keyword: Wireless. It’s easier to provide gigabit speeds via cable, than it is via wireless. And T-Mobile is a wireless company. Not a cable company.

      • JStatt

        Exactly right. And I’m sure T-Mobile is being cautious with this estimate and will bump to 250-1000 in the future as competition pushes towards it. Besides, no one can feasibly receive gigabit speed over WiFi currently. At most, 400-450 down. An iPhone isn’t even equipped with enough WiFi bands to handle more than that right now.

    • Bryan Ott

      I’ve got Gigabit from At&t much better price than if I went with Comcast, not sure I’d be able to survive with slower between cutting the chord and other things I need speed for.

    • marque2

      Most people don’t need anywhere close to gigabit service. So 100 meg should be OK. My family does OK with 30. Our cable company charges $92 for 50 mbs (when all the little charges are added in) so there is a lot of margin to work with.

      • dcmanryan

        Ouch. I thought I was getting nailed by Comcast but $92/50Mbps is highway robbery. I’m in Utah and have two choices in my area, Century Link $49/12Mbps or Comcast. With Comcast I’m paying $106 and get TV with HBO and 256Mbps. The 1 TB data cap sucks but we stream like crazy and the speed is still not enough at times.

        • I’m in Utah as well. I’m using T-Mobile’s unlimited tethering for my home internet (it works great) and I’m getting 50mbps most days (though it does go down to 30mbps during some busy times). But it’s only costing $15 per month on my promo plan. The only other options in my area are TDS for $60 per month (100mbps) or Century Link, which you’ve just mentioned. To say we need more competition around here is putting it mildly!

    • Melissa Cardenas

      I live in los Angeles California which is a huge city so its not like i live in the middle of nowhere .And we have at&t/DirecTV, spectrum, /charter as our only options . Verizon dont offer their fios service here anywhere here yet . Which I dont understand why …anyways they all expensive and dont offer gigabit speed . Att/direct TVis the worse u paying over 100 a month and speed is only about 20 mbps . Spectrum and charter would announce on their TV commercials speeds up to 300 mbps . But speed is only up to 100 max and In a good day ,I have spectrum paying 89 dollars a month only for internet and speed is 75 mbps ,sometimes bursts of 100 . I got the package that supposedly I had to be getting 150 but nothing . Then asked the lady what about the 300 mbps they announce on TV? She straight up told me not available yet in most of california and you in LA so who knows when its gonna be available there . The fastest we offer in your area is 150 . So i chose that. But never seen 150 . Average is 75 like I said . Which works fine I guess . Just wish they offered higher speeds here

      • JG

        Im surprised LA doesn’t have 300Mb yet. I live in the middle of nowhere adjacent (to me a large city has 15,000 residents) – not in CA though. I called Spectrum and asked if they knew when the 100Mb speeds they had been advertising on TV and radio would be available. The first tech was all “what? You don’t have that yet?!? Let me transfer you to internet they’ll know better”. A few moments later I was signing up for 400Mb service. And I’m actually getting it (router says the average speed over the last 30 days is 407Mb).

        • Melissa Cardenas

          U are so lucky ! Here in La who knows ..when wel get there . ..

      • Brad C

        Spectrum’s base speed in SoCal should bump to 200/10 soon, as 400/20 is available in all of the footprint, and gig is launching soon.

        $64.99 for 100-200/10 (depending on city), and $89.99 for 400/20…

        Which by the way, is still WAY more reasonable than Comcast in Chicago. I pay $89.99 for 250/20 WITH a 1TB cap.

        • Melissa Cardenas

          U in comcast ovethere in Chicago are paying the same as me on spectrum here in LA . BUT at least u getting 250/20 which is better than the 75/10 I’m getting . … So u are lucky.

        • Brad C

          For what I’m paying, spectrum is 400/20, go swap to a new modem and get on the new plan… Then you’ll see your full speed

        • Melissa Cardenas

          Just came from the spectrum that’s 2blocks from my house in ELA on mednick. I took my modem ..told them I wanna swap because I’m not getting faster speeds even if it means getting on a new plan , They said I have one of the newest one the netgear 6300 and my plan is good since I just go them 2 months ago So no luck there . They tried to make me get cable and tv and my bill was gonna go up more They said I can have the newest modem but if there’s not anything faster in my area I’m stuck with the speeds im getting now . Guess that’s what I get for living in ghetto ELA 90022 . Besides with those 75 mbps i honestly never had problems loading videos on HD on my smart TV. The only times it gets slow is when my sister and her kids come visit and they all get on it with their iPads

    • jonzey231

      Central Ohio. $40-50/mo is the going rate for most providers for 100Mbps. $80-$120ish for gigabit.

    • Aaron Tillery

      100mbps is actually far above the us average actually which is around 15mbps even in larger cites much less less populated areas and 100mbps is still fast enough right now for most people’s use I have around 50 devices connected to it including 4K hdr content and it works just fine

  • Kevin Wu

    They would probably be doing this anyways even without merger. There are already a lot of live tv providers, and T-Mo’s TV plans would not add anymore more benefits to the consumer. What i dont understand is why would anyone want to watch live tv with so many ads when there are alternatives without ads?

    • steveb944

      The benefit is controlling the pipe and the content. They don’t have to pay the ISP to avoid throttling their TV service.

    • stacks3000

      RIght now they don’t have the bandwidth. 600 and 700 mhz is sparse in tmobile land. Sprint on the other hand has tons of unused spectrum. Even if they didn’t do exactly what they said they were going to do and just converted sprints spectrum to tmobiles everyone would be better off for it. Sprint customers would get the benefit of a company that actually is able to deploy spectrum. Tmobile customers better overall cell service. TV and internet would just make them more competitive with verizon/att. I mean you won’t see these products for years whether it’s phones or home tv/internet but the idea is good. Flagship phones like the iphone will be the easiest to change since they already have the band capability. All they would need is a software update

  • Steven

    I am paying 64.99 for 60mbps. That seems high and I’m supposed to be getting 100mbps. Would LOVE another option for internet and TV.

    • Red

      Ohhhh city dwellers. Try living in the country where it’s more than you’re paying for 10mbps. If it’s a good day.

      • blokeinusa

        I’ve lived in country with a 100MB daily limit

        • Red Lloyd

          Ouch.

      • JustinHaygood

        I live in the country and have 1000/1000 GPON fiber from AT&T

        • Red Lloyd

          In the middle of over ten acres?

    • Brad C

      I’m glad we have a great local teco back home who put VDSL2 and Fiber everywhere. My grandparents in a village of 4 houses have 200/50 fiber service.

    • slybacon

      That is high. My comcast speeds are 250mbps plus, and I pay $50 for three years. Not sure what the price is after that. I’m in an urban area.

      • Charmed79

        I wish, we pay $93 a month for 250, lucky to get 100, that’s the cheapest for this speed.

  • PC_Tool

    Bingo.

    Been talking about this since they started talking about Sprint this round – It’s no longer them competing with other Wireless carriers. They’d be competing directly with Home internet and TV service providers as well.

    Not less competition. More.

  • JG

    T-Mo completed its acquisition of Layer3 TV in early 2018. The company has said that it plans to launch a pay TV service in 2018, but we haven’t heard much about it lately.

    On Friday I started noticing ads on Android Police and Chrome Unboxed for Layer3 TV (a T-Mobile company) offering service in Chicago.

    I’m not close enough that it’d let me in to get more details. I tried to go to the main page to see if it was available elsewhere but it auto-redirected me to the /Chicago landing page so I assume it’s just there for now…

    • Brad C

      Layer3 TV has been in Chicago for quite some time. I had it a year ago. I liked it, but could not justify the insane pricing Layer3 charged, along with having to pay Comcast an additional $50/mo for unlimted data due to the bitrate being so high on the L3TV

  • SirStephenH

    I love how we’ll be able to complain about the people at home, streaming in 4k and general home internet use, using up all the bandwidth instead of whining about someone watching a movie or TV show on their phone in 1080p and hotspotting.

    • Brian

      One of the big advantages of 5G is increased capacity. Also, you will spend less time transfering data. If you are watching a Netflix movie for example, the entire movie can be sent to your home in seconds in 4K vs 10-15 minutes on 4G. This will decrease system loads. The technology is designed support more than 60,000 connections to one tower without degraded speed and those speeds can actually be above 1 gigabit. But remember….You are a consumer. If you don’t like it, you are always free to not use it. Just stick with your home internet connection.

      • Charmed79

        BS they said the very same thing about 4G LTE, with all the people ready to jump on 5G, the same things will happen. They’re network will not be able to handle it.

  • What a bunch of BS! T-Mobile is just using this to get merger approved. Once the merger is done we will see nothing of wireless home tv and internet. Or if we do, it will either be slower than cable internet or more expensive than cable tv and internet. Either way we the customer will lose.

    • Gardo

      That’s exactly what I thought, this is some typical if I get approved I will do this, but they bought Layer 3 before all this Sprint merger bs. This merger is bad for customers regardless of what T-Mobile wants you to think.

  • Eric

    I hope they offer an OTTV service as well – a lot of people are perfectly happy with their home internet and don’t want to pay a premium to deliver their TV over 5G. This is good news for people in rural areas but using 5G for home internet in places where there is already fiber or copper infrastructure seems pointless and inefficient.

    Personally I’ve also grown accustomed to media consumption through one device (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, etc.) – having a separate box for TV seems like a huge step backwards at this point.