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T-Mobile Still Plans to Launch TV Service This Year

T-Mobile is on track to launch its TV service this year, COO Mike Sievert said during the company’s earnings call Wednesday. “We continue to plan it for this year,” he said, adding that the company was looking for what he described as an “initial launch” in 2018.

T-Mobile first announced last December that it was looking to launch a nationwide, internet-based TV service this year. The telco acquired cable upstart Layer3 TV for $325 million to kick-start those efforts.

Sievert said Wednesday that Layer3 was continuing to work on its existing business of offering cable TV to customers in a handful of markets. “We have our heads down, kind of quietly expanding what we have,” he said. T-Mobile disclosed in its earnings report Wednesday that Layer3 TV had just 5,000 paying subscribers when it was acquired by the telco in January.

Sievert argued Wednesday that the potential audience for T-Mobile’s TV service was much larger. This is a market that needs to be uncarriered,” he said. “Customers do have a lot of needs.”

He also said that T-Mobile had plans to offer its TV service not only over the open internet, but also via its own upcoming wireless 5G broadband service. “We see the opportunity to offer broadband into huge swaths of the market,” he said, adding that within two years, two-thirds of the country would have access to 5G-based home broadband at speeds of 100 Mbps or more.

T-Mobile announced a mega-merger with Sprint in April that would result in a joint company worth $146 billion. On Wednesday, executives expressed optimism that the deal would receive regulatory approval.

On Wednesday, T-Mobile announced a growth in service revenue by 7%, to a total of $7.93 billion for the quarter ended June 30 (up 6.6% from $7.44 billion during the same quarter last year). The company also added a total of 1.6 million net new customers during Q2.

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