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.
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