T-Mobile, which had planned to launch T-Mobile TV this year, reportedly is delaying its debut until 2019.
Bloomberg reports that the project “proved more complex than expected,” citing sources said to be familiar with the situation. While Bloomberg’s sources indicate plans could change, there are less than two weeks left in 2018 for any kind of launch. That apparently means the choice may come down to T-Mobile offering a “garden-variety” streaming platform, similar to what others already provide, or waiting to develop a more unique Un-carrier offering.
In January, T-Mobile acquired Denver-based Layer3 TV and promised to launch its own TV service this year. The purchase — $325 million, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings — positioned the Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier to take on cable providers like Comcast. T-Mobile TV is expected to work over regular home cable, DSL, or any other type of internet connection, as well as leverage T-Mobile’s forthcoming next-generation 5G wireless network connections.
“People are ready for choice and change! Well, good news ‘cause that’s exactly what we’re gonna bring!” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile in a statement at the time of the acquisition. “I can’t wait to take the fight to Big Cable and Satellite TV on behalf of consumers everywhere!”
The new initiative has been led by Jeff Binder, who had been CEO of Layer3 and became an executive vice president at T-Mobile. He was joined at T-Mobile by close to 200 others from Layer3, including former executives from AT&T, Fox, Comcast, Time Warner and more.
Bloomberg said T-Mobile declined to comment on the latest report.
T-Mobile passed a hurdle in its planned merger with Sprint this week when it received approvals from U.S. national security organizations, and the company said that deal was on track for full regulatory approval in the first half of 2019.