T-Mobile's new home pay-TV service and coming pilot of in-home broadband over LTE will come out of the chute separately, but will eventually be fused into a strategic service bundle.
"Don't get confused by that [the initial, separate activity] because the ultimate strategy is for these -- home TV and home broadband -- to be a blended go-to-market approach," Mike Sievert,
T-Mobile US Inc. 's president and COO, said on Thursday's Q4 earnings call.
With respect to in-home TV, T-Mobile now expects to launch a rebranded, "reimagined" version of that offering in the first half of 2019. That product, which stems from T-Mobile's acquisition of Denver-based Layer3 TV in 2018, is delayed, as T-Mobile originally expected to launch it late last year.
Sievert said the company decided to hold off on the launch so it could develop some new features and "quality improvements" before rolling out the rebranded product. Prior to the acquisition Layer3 TV had launched service in Los Angeles; Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; Longmont, Colo.; and Washington, D.C.
The new "redefined and rebranded product" will debut in "many more places" in the first half of 2019, Sievert promised.
T-Mobile's TV plan has some linkages to its in-home broadband service ambitions. T-Mobile expects to start piloting a home broadband service, initially using 4G/LTE, in the first half of 2019, and follow later with a 5G-based offering.
T-Mobile hopes to learn from these initial LTE-based fixed wireless broadband trials. But it stressed that its bigger plans to be a national, disruptive player hinge on the spectrum and capacity it stands to gain from its proposed merger with Sprint. Home broadband is "capacity-dependent" and "very consumptive," Sievert said.
Home broadband will "be a substantial part of our growth story," Sievert said, noting that the current plan is to market that service to 52% of US zip codes and deliver median speeds of 450 Mbit/s.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.