T-Mobile's 'Revolutionary' New TV Service Looks Like The Same Old Crap

from the meet-the-new-boss... dept

So we've noted for a while that T-Mobile's brand reputation as a fiesty consumer-friendly disruptor is only really skin deep. While the T-Mobile of a few years ago certainly added some much needed competition to the wireless sector at first, more recently the company has started to look a lot like the bigger competitors (AT&T, Verizon) it pretends to be superior to. From mocking groups like the EFF to opposing net neutrality, the company isn't all that different from the companies its brash CEO likes to make fun of. Especially as it snuggles up to Trump to gain approval for a merger with that Sprint nobody asked for.

Meanwhile, the company's promised efforts at "disruption" aren't quite what they used to be either. The company's long-hyped new TV service, for example, was unveiled this week and doesn't appear to be much different from the traditional offerings the company had promised to supplant:

"Ignoring the trend toward less or no hardware, T-Mobile is introducing TVision, a cookbook-size box that must be plugged into home broadband connections. The $100-a-month, in-home TV package will be offered in eight cities, starting with 150 channels, including local broadcasts and regional sports networks. Some streaming apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will be loaded on the device, though they’ll require separate subscriptions. Premium channels like HBO will also cost extra."

In short, T-Mobile appears to have simply re-invented the bloated cable TV bundle and cable box. That's not likely to appeal to users who can simply go out and buy their own streaming hardware, then install a universe of independent streaming apps they can rotate in and out at their leisure. Of course entertaining T-Mobile CEO John Legere dressed the new product (which is basically just a reskinning of the pricey Layer3 TV service it acquired a few years back) as something substantively more revolutionary than it actually is:

Legere has spent the last few years mercilessly mocking (often quite justly) both AT&T and Verizon's own forays into video, only to release something that is just as droll. There's not much here that's likely to make much headway into the market, given the entire point of "cutting the cord" is to get away from expensive channel bundles and locked down set top boxes in the first place.

Watching T-Mobile change over the next few years is going to be interesting. The company effectively built its brand on being a consumer ally that's different from traditional, entrenched players. But as the company has pushed distortion after distortion in its bid to gain regulatory approval for its Sprint merger, it continues to prove that's not really the case. And if the deal's approved, the sudden 25% reduction in major competitors is going to open the door to less competition, higher prices, and less innovation--all of the things T-Mobile and CEO Legere profess to be breathlessly dedicated to.

Filed Under: disruption, john legere, mobile phone service, tv service
Companies: t-mobile


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  • icon
    Gary (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 12:53pm

    $100?

    So this is $100 on top of the cost of Broadband, eats up your ISP cap, and doesn't include Netflix. But somehow needs its own hardware to stream shows that any phone, PC or Roku could do.
    Well I guess if I'm really really missing local TV and can't just pick up over-the-air broadcasts from an antenna...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SillyCEOs, 15 Apr 2019 @ 1:45pm

    ForSaleTMobile

    I wonder if this non practical television product that connects to a hardline cable (interestingly not called "cable television") is the parent company's way of expressing how much they want someone to buy T-mobile?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Seegras (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 2:05pm

    different incumbent?

    T-Mobile might portray itself as "different" in the USA, but it's still the incumbent in Germany, behaving no better than Verizon and AT&T.

    Don't expect anything.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 2:46pm

    Price war FAIL

    "The $100-a-month, in-home TV package will be offered in eight cities, starting with 150 channels, including local broadcasts and regional sports networks"

    I just went through the runaround with Spectrum getting their bottom tier service.

    What I changed from is their package that T-mobile is apparently mirroring.

    I downgraded because Spectrum was raising the price from $65/mo to $83/mo.

    Hard to believe Spectrum offering a lower price when they've got a true monopoly in this region.

    ....shouldn't have said that, now they'll raise my "new" reduced package fifty bucks by the end of the month....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    discordian_eris (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 3:30pm

    T-Mobile, just like all of its 'competitors' is just a lying sack of shit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 15 Apr 2019 @ 3:45pm

    Marketing

    Ah yes, more lipstick for the pig!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2019 @ 7:41pm

    Where's Poochie?

    Richard Bennett thumping his chest in righteous outrage for the poor defenseless mobile corporation in 3, 2, 1...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 12:14am

    T-Mobile!!!!!!
    Cut the cord by paying for our new cord!!!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2019 @ 3:03am

    >breathlessly dedicated to.

    Karl. You have a problem. You have to stop, Karl.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2019 @ 4:12am

    I wanted tv service recently and tried directv satellite, charter cable, directv now, sling, almost every option.. I tried layer3tv and it gives a huge picture quality upgrade from directv satellite and charter cable - it blows it away. T-mobile has partnered with isps to give a better picture than any tv service I have ever used. How naive is this author to say “same crap” when the picture is better than sattelite or cable? The service used my charter internet and does not count towards the normal bandwidth I use. It’s why layer3tv needs to know your internet type before ordering.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Kunal Arora (profile), 22 Apr 2019 @ 3:54am

    Concept Phones in Future

    Mobile industry is evolving day by day with a great number of concept phones technology coming up. To Read more about the concept phones, visit : <a href="https://www.mymobilereviewer.com/">My Mobile Reviewer</a>

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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