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Clifton K Morris
Clifton K Morris,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/10/2019 | 3:18:31 PM
Re: Analyst: Where's the disruption?
I agree, Jeff. I stopped into a T-Mobile store in Longmont last December around the holidays. The store offered the service branded as Layer3. Premium channels were in line with cable (HBO was $20 a month), and there was only 2 channels in 4K (one was NASA channel; no entertainment or movies.)

While T-Vision service itself didnít have a contract, it required Fiber ISP service from Longmont City Light, a municipal city-run utility. This requisite requirement added $75 to the cost of service and (going off memory) the fiber ISP required a 2-year contract. Using any other ISP service is not an option.

Overall, when you factor in the overall price of Cable for TV, XfinityMobile for wireless, other TVision limitations (no cloud DVR, home phone line or home security options) it actually made better sense to stay with Cable. The pain point problem resided with customer service- Comcast has a single point of contact, sends out a technician for resolution. Todate, I donít believe T-Mobile has (or will ever) invest into a fleet of technicians like Cable or Satellite companies have to address service issues. Cable and Satellite is regulated unlike streaming services.

Overall, itís a service designed for early adopters and those who are influenced by copious amounts of window dressing.
Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/10/2019 | 1:53:21 PM
Analyst: Where's the disruption?
Color BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk unimpressed with T-Mobile's initial stab at rebranding/relaunching the Layer3 TV in-home pay-TV service.

"16 months after buying Layer 3, T-Mobile announced a $100/month TV service that requires a broadband connection and a new set top box. That's not very disruptive," he wrote in a blog post (registration required). 

He said the price point out of the chute is "not compelling" compared to YouTube TV's and its $40/month baseline offering, and wondered who would buy what T-Mobile is selling at this point. Update: YouTube TV just jacked its baseline price to $50 after adding networks from the Discovery stable. 

YouTube TV, a live TV streaming service designed to replace a traditional cable TV package, will raise its monthly price from $40 to $50. Subscribers billed through Apple will have to pay $55.

Early on, T-Mobile effectively has rebranded the fat pay-TV bundle that layer3 TV had been offering before the acquisition; we'll have to see if they can make the economics work for slimmer bundles and more varied packages to hit different segments of the market. I suspect we'll see some of that when T-Mobile launches its mobile-focused offering.

Piecyk was also surprised that, out of the chute, T-Mobile's newly branded in-home offering is not yet being teamed with a broadband offering using LTE integrated into the set-top box.

"It's not complex, but presumably will require more network capacity than T-Mobile can currently handle," the analyst wrote, adding that, with respect to T-Mobile's broadband strategy, a decision on the proposed Spring deal "can't come soon enough." -- JB

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