One of the most helpful and popular technologies to come out of the tech revolution over the last few decades is streaming TV. Watching TV programming used to be solely the purview of cable and satellite companies, like Comcast and Dish Network. However, streaming services like Hulu, Playstation Vue, and DirecTV Now, have sprung up to offer video content available directly over an internet connection to watch on mobile or stationary computing devices.
T-Mobile is a wireless carrier that has long pushed the boundaries of video streaming services. Binge On, a service offered starting last year, allowed qualifying plans to watch streaming content without using any of the data included in their plan. Now, T-Mobile is upping the ante even further with their announcement that 2018 will be the year they begin offering their own streaming video service.
The Specifics of T-Mobile’s Upcoming Streaming Service
Kicking off the process to offer their own streaming service is T-Mobile’s announcement that they would be acquiring a startup TV service named Layer3 TV. This service is currently offered in five cities, including Washington D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles. T-Mobile plans on using the relationships Layer3 has with different TV programmers, as well as the technology it runs on, to offer the service nationwide.
T-Mobile plans on designing this as a combination of a traditional cable/satellite service, and an internet-based service. The primary difference with the former is that all content will be delivered over an Internet connection, rather than through cable wires or a satellite signal. This allows T-Mobile to bypass the costly step of installing wiring in homes they want to provide service to.
The service will also differ than most internet-based streaming services in that they want to offer a full lineup of channels, potentially around the 250 channels currently offered by Layer3 TV. This is a notable difference than the small bundles of channels offered by most internet-based providers.
Potential Features of T-Mobile’s New Streaming Service
While the exact specifics of T-Mobile’s new streaming service are still up in the air, there are a few inclusions you are likely to see. Information on exact fees and package specifics may be lacking, but word has leaked that the following features are likely to make the cut.
As mentioned, most of the popular streaming services, such as Hulu TV and YouTube TV, offer small bundles of channels at a flat fee. While some services may offer a higher plan with a few additional channels, it is basically one size fits all. No streaming service currently offers even close to the number of choices available with a traditional satellite or cable provider.
T-Mobile’s service, however, is likely to include a base number of channels that is much larger than any other streaming provider, as well as multiple options if you want additional channels. This offers a much wider selection of programming that can be tailored for each individual’s preferences.
Many streaming services already provide access to popular Internet-based giants like Netflix and Hulu. However, this is set up only as a link to the service’s official app, rather than having them integrated directly into the service itself. T-Mobile’s plan is to offer this content all within their service, with no app switching necessary at all. So, for example, to watch Netflix on a mobile device you would not even need to download their app, just use the T-Mobile app for everything.
A Focus on the Social
Some of the existing promo videos available for T-Mobile’s new streaming service show that social components are likely to play heavily in the final offering. Things like the ability to see, which shows are popular with friends and family, as well as the capacity to find out which of your chosen companions are watching a specific show right then. It is likely to also include a “chat” icon you can use to send messages to those on your friends list while watching the same programming.
There is no denying that T-Mobile has long been one of the innovators in streaming video on mobile devices, and their new streaming service is likely to take this trend to new and exciting heights. Keep an eye out for this service, which is slated to launch sometime in 2018.