T-Mobile talks 5G plan pricing, home broadband pilot, and TV and video services during earnings call


After announcing its full Q4 2018 results earlier today, T-Mobile executives held a conference call to further discuss its results and take questions from analysts. They revealed some new info regarding T-Mo’s upcoming TV service, its home broadband plans, and more in the process.

First up, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray touched a bit on upcoming 5G handsets, saying that mmWave devices are expected in the first half of the year while devices that also have 600MHz will likely come in the second half of 2019. COO Mike Sievert then touched a bit on T-Mo’s plans for 5G pricing, saying that doesn’t plan to charge more for 5G rate plans, instead hoping to get revenue growth from offerings like enterprise, broadband, and Internet of Things. “But we don’t have plans for the smartphone plans that you see today to charge differently for 5G enablement versus 4G LTE,” said Sievert.

T-Mobile execs also touched on home broadband. Sievert said that T-Mo is planning to run a pilot test of home broadband service using 4G LTE in the first half of 2019 with plans to move to 5G later. The T-Mobile COO added that home broadband is an important piece of its merger with Sprint, saying that New T-Mobile has “very ambitious home broadband plans.”

T-Mobile’s upcoming pay TV service was talked about during the call as well. Sievert said that the TV service was expected to launch in 2018 but is now slated to arrive in the first half of 2019. He added that T-Mo has already launched a predecessor product in four cities using the Layer3 TV brand and that T-Mobile has been gathering feedback from customers about features they’d like to see.

Sievert went on to talk a bit about T-Mobile’s mobile video strategy. T-Mo says that it doesn’t plan to offer another “skinny bundle” of channels, instead feeling like it can fill a “nuanced role” to help customers get access to content and let you put together your own media subscriptions. “We don’t have plans to build an Nth undifferentiated skinny bundle out there. There are plenty of those,” said Sievert. “But we think there’s a more nuanced role for us to play in helping you get access to the great media brands out there that you love and to be able to put together your own media subscription in smaller pieces. $5, $6, $7, $8 at a time. It’s an exciting future for us.”

Source: T-Mobile

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  • Matt Macaluso


  • Hurlamania

    So it’s basically pointless for anyone to get a S10 from T-Mobile since it doesn’t have 5G 600 megahertz support that’s going to make a greater difference then millimeter wave

    I just wish they would get 600 megahertz 4G LTE in my state

    • Phone Guy

      So wrong. 5G will be a slow rollout. Even a year from now, as your S10 ages, and you are wanting the S11, the 5G footprint will be small. Enjoy the S10 for what it will offer, as 5G is not going to be a game changer for some time. You will turn on your phone, and Facebook will work just the same way it did on 4g.

      • Iphart

        5G ain’t nothing but hype.

        • Hurlamania

          It’s not nothing when you currently average 1 to 2 Megs download speed with full bars in a major city we don’t even have 600 megahertz we’re only one of seven states that doesn’t have it yet

        • JJ

          Hype? Ok. Just like like evdo to lte was hype and how speeds went from 10mbps to over 80mbps. Ok.

        • marque2

          Yeah, that was significant, because it meant instead of having to buffer a 360p video, we could instantly stream 1080p (or more) Now that we can easily see a video instantly, – what more do you need? I suppose it would be nice if I could download a video for a Southwest airline flight in just a minute rather than 10 – but that need doesn’t happen very often. As for games, similar to video – Pokemon Go plays just fine and won’t play better with 5g, though it wouldn’t work at all on Edge.

      • Hurlamania

        No not wrong they will have compatible 5G phones a S10 variant later in the year with 600 megahertz 5G understand how phone works the plan was to trade in my S7 if they offered the $360 off as they did for the S9 which I have I have no interest in getting an S10 unless it’s full 5G for T-Mobile that was the point not your long spew of nothingness

    • JJ

      How is it pointless? If you need a phone you buy one. if you don’t need a phone then just wait. But not buying a phone because speeds on it won’t be as fast as a new tech that is supposed to come out… you’ll be waiting a long time every time.

      • Hurlamania

        I don’t need a phone but if you want a phone that is fully T Mobile 5G capable you have to wait till the 3rd quarter and they probably won’t offer trade-in offers I want to trade in my S7 the offer it for the S10 next month which won’t be fully 5G compatible with T-Mobile if I wait till next year my S7 value won’t be the same as it will be for the S10 trade-in next month why would you buy a phone when 6 months later a complete compatible version of the same phone comes out

    • marque2

      Most of the user satisfaction issues with phones have to do with how long it takes an app to come up. That is what takes most of the time. The actual retrieval of data already takes a trivial amount of time for most applications. Its like 2.5 – 3 seconds for launch and .25 – .50 seconds for the data. Fact is most folks won’t notice the difference at first. When we get the killer apps like 360 degree full sphere 400dpi virtual reality – then people might actually have a true need for 5g.

      Well unless you play Fortnight or something where every time you turn it on it seems to want to download half a gig of data.

  • amec android

    I am getting over 100mbps on tmobile in my non 600mhz area, i cant wait for 600mhz to kick in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2fQSnxg6Ec

    • JStatt

      If you already get over 100mbps then it’s not likely to change for a when 600mhz is deployed. That much speed means you are already getting well served by the current frequencies and 600 will only mean better penetration in some areas. Your devices could very likely still go with the old frequencies for faster speeds. That is of course until 600 becomes 5G, but that’s not for a while.

      • JJ

        For me it actually helped coverage but also increased speeds. I was getting around 65mbps in port charlotte area before 600, then after 600 it went up to over 115 indoors. I think for many there will be a slight increase in speeds with the right phones.

        • marque2

          They probably upgraded some of the other transmitters at the same time they added 600Mhz. I am not sure if most phones MIMO band 71 yet.

  • lomsha

    They should still offer skinny bundles, at even $5 a pop it would quickly get expensive.

    • Acdc1a

      I’m reasonably sure based on the price points mentioned you’re going to get a family of channels owned by the same content provider for say $7. With that you might get 2 or 3 NBC Universal channels like USA and SyFy.

  • Bklynman

    So what tmo should have is massive half price sale(or more) on all the phones they are selling now,because none of them will able to support 5 g.

    • JG

      Doubtful. And if something like that were to happen it probably wouldn’t happen until 2020 or 20201…

      There’s going to be too many kinks and bumps in the road with the initial launch of the new technology to really make it mass marketable right away.

      Outside of big cities, there probably won’t be any real useable 5G signal until late 2020… It took awhile to get LTE deployed. And that was just upgrading big towers that cover miles. 5G is going to rely on microcells that’ll need to be set up like every block or so. That’s going to take a lot more work.

      And phone hardware will take a little while to get worked out to. Remember all of the issues the HTC Thunderbolt had being Verizon’s first (and for awhile only) LTE capable phone… The initial LTE radio really consumed the battery…

      [And it’ll be interesting to see if the new 5G radio can be tuned to work with multiple carriers or if we’re going to have to go back to having single carrier phones.]

      • BrianC

        20201…That’s a long time away. Wonder if 4G LTE tech will still work at that time.

        • Website Administrator

          By then, we’ll have 142G. A 6 hour video will download faster than a man can run after hearing the pregnancy test results

        • marque2

          I’ve got the Bieber 6G fever! (How many F*ing G’s are there?)

        • JJ

          4glte works of the same towers. As 5g comes around, 4g towers are upgraded and continue to be backwards compatible.

        • JG

          4G via subspace frequencies

    • JJ

      There is no need to. Technology changes and hardware is upgraded. Just upgrade when the time comes. 4g lte is fast enough to where not having 5g will hurt anyone. If you bought a 2015 car and expected all 2015 cars to be half of when 2016 came around that would just be bad for business. Yes, they offer some discounts but it’s a business.

  • Mike

    Key word “Expect” realistically 2021 is when majority of analysts predicts 5G from T-Mobile to be up and going fully.

    • JJ

      One thing i have seen, tmobile has said when certain things on their network would be done and they have surprised many by doing it on time and in many cases early. Back when i had verizon over 5 years ago, tmobile said they would have lte across all their network at a certain point, they beat that estimate by several months. Reason why so many have switched over. Don’t get me wrong, they still have coverage issues in many rural areas. But for those that don’t go there or live there tmobile has been great.

    • marque2

      Maybe they could repurpose some of that Sprint WiMax.

  • mikeZo6

    ” COO Mike Sievert then touched a bit on T-Mo’s plans for 5G pricing, saying that DOESN’T PLAN TO CHARGE MORE for 5G rate plans ”
    remember this Feb 8th 2019

    • Sharti24

      Historically there has never been a different rate plan for newer network technology. When the time comes (in 3 years if the merger is approved) all rate plans will increase at once. I dont ever see them offering a 5G only plan becase that would be too messy and confusing for customers

      • Acdc1a

        Exactly. There’s also the good possibility that with a superior network Verizon and AT&T start bleeding enough customer to create a price war. That’s to be determined.

      • Fabian Cortez

        Historically there has never been a different rate plan for newer network technology.

        I fondly remember Sprint charging $10 extra per month for customers who had “4G” phones, even if their market didn’t have “4G” deployed.

        It was always “coming soon.”

        • Sharti24

          Lol yes! I bought into the 4G wimax hype and was promised 4G in Akron, OH (it was already deployed in Cleveland at the time) so i purchased an evo in june 2010 and paid the extra $10 “premium” fee just to have the Evo. It wasnt a seperate rate plan though, they just tacked $10 extra onto the bill.

          Could tmobile do this with 5G and say their base rate plans arent going to increase? They could, but i doubt it

      • marque2

        When Tmobile really got the 4G LTE going, they came up with the Tmobile One plan which was about 20 bucks more than the older plan, so I disagree to some extent.

        However, when Tmobile Tmobile One, offered much more data than the old plans of 5 and 10 gigs a month, and they were able to do this because the LTE was largely built out.

  • francob911 .

    5G = Cancer to humanity

    • marque2

      Once you live past the age of 16 or so you realize that at one point or another some sensationalist study has said just about everything causes cancer, and yet with all these cancer causing devices we are living longer than ever. Great Grandpa who died early 60’s would wish for these “cancer causing” life extending devices.

      There is just a huge industry out there to tell us “We’re DOOMed” but it never pans out.

  • Craig D

    Layer tv seems like a good idea but the value isn’t. It’s available for $89 in the Chicagoland area but you have to have internet as well. So the price equals to the same that your paying for Comcast. Doesn’t make any sense to switch as of now, we will all have to wait for 5G

  • marque2

    I don’t think you could even get Tmobile in Iowa until recently. It wasn’t marketed there when I lived there in 2010. They had some haphazard roaming agreements, I believe.