T-Mobile US prepares to turn on the TV as profit surges - Mobile World Live

T-Mobile US prepares to turn on the TV as profit surges

31 OCT 2018

Executives expanded on T-Mobile US’ plans to build a new TV experience for the 5G era using its Layer3 TV assets, as it gears up to launch the next generation technology on its mobile network in early 2019.

Speaking on the operator’s Q3 earnings call, COO Mike Sievert (pictured, left) said it is developing a “TV service that is free from having to have wires; that has hundreds of high-definition choices coming in wirelessly; that’s free from a particular cable box; that puts you in control; that’s connected to your smartphone, connected to your social, mobile and digital life in a way that TV has never been before”.

He noted the TV service will complement T-Mobile’s effort to launch a wireless home broadband product covering more than half the US, enabling it to offer an integrated product suite. T-Mobile closed an acquisition of Layer3 TV in January.

At Mobile World Congress Americas in September, CTO Neville Ray told Mobile World Live the operator was trialling its TV product in a number of markets including Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; and Washington DC to glean feedback from customers.

Sievert said a fixed version of its TV service will launch by the year-end, with a mobile option to follow in 2019.

Merger progress
CEO John Legere (pictured, centre) reiterated T-Mobile remains “optimistic and confident” its proposed merger with Sprint will be approved. While federal and state reviews remain ongoing, he noted the deal has already received approval from more than half of the state public utility commissions which are reviewing it.

Though T-Mobile in regulatory filings highlighted the importance of access to Sprint’s 2.5GHz spectrum for its 5G network build, Ray said on the call the operator could turn to 3.5GHz and 3.7GHz to 4.2GHz (C-Band) spectrum in the absence of approval.

Ray commented there are “real opportunities for commercial deployments” on the unlicensed portion of the 3.5GHz band in the mid-2019 timeframe while the industry awaits the auction of licences for the rest of the band. He added access to C-Band airwaves would also be important without the deal, but said the operator would like to see more of the band freed up than current proposals allow.

Earnings
The operator’s wireless business continued to chug along in Q3, with 1.6 million net additions. It added 1.1 million post paid subscribers, an increase from 817,000 in Q3 2017, however prepaid net additions dropped to 35,000 from 226,000 in the year-ago period.

Total revenue of $10.8 billion was up 8.2 per cent year-on-year, while net income of $795 million jumped 44.5 per cent from Q3 2017.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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