T-Mobile paid $325 million for Layer3, the Denver-based company that will form the backbone of the self-proclaimed Un-carrier’s TV service set to launch later this year, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The deal closed last month, and the price of the acquisition was revealed today in SEC filings related to T-Mobile’s fourth quarter and annual financials. With the acquisition, first announced in December, T-Mobile is positioning itself to take on cable providers like Comcast in the same way it has battled mobile rivals AT&T and Verizon.
The new TV initiative will be led by Jeff Binder, CEO of Layer3 and now an executive vice president at T-Mobile. He will be joined by close to 200 others from Layer3, including former executives from AT&T, Fox, Comcast, Time Warner and more.
T-Mobile TV will work over a regular home cable, DSL connection, or any other type of internet connection. T-Mobile is looking to leverage its own wireless network for the service, a key potential advantage vs. other “over the top” IP-based TV offerings.
T-Mobile is betting big on next-generation 5G wireless to make wireless connections just as fast as home internet. T-Mobile is targeting 2020 for a national rollout of its 5G network, in part by leveraging spectrum it won in this year’s FCC auction.
Layer3 has developed an IP-based TV service, including a set-top box, and the company touts its relationships with content providers as one of its key advantages. As T-Mobile builds out its new TV service, Layer3 products will be available in some T-Mobile stores in Denver, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Dallas and Chicago.