As wireless carriers continue to roll out their 5G service offerings, T-Mobile (#2 in the nation) is aiming to provide its customers with a new live TV platform to take advantage of that increased bandwidth. The new internet-based streaming service, TVision, includes multiple channel packages and prices. Like Sling or YouTube TV, the service is viewable anywhere but is only available to T-Mobile’s wireless or internet customers.
TVision Live offers three channel package tiers at varying prices, as low as $40 per month, along with 100 hours of cloud-based DVR. The more aggressively priced TVision Vibe is just $10 per month and includes 30 live channels but limits concurrent streams to two (rather than three with TVision Live) and makes DVR functionality an added $5 monthly cost. Finally, TVision Channels includes a la carte premium channels such like Starz and Showtime at additional costs. The new streaming service from T-Mobile will be available on most streaming sticks/boxes, except Roku, and the company is also launching its own $50 TVision Hub, a 4K Android TV dongle that’s been specifically designed for an enhanced TVision experience.
The new service is T-Mobile’s second attempt in the live TV business, following its launch of TVision Home in early 2019. The previous version was available in limited markets and closely resembled a traditional pay TV service, including over 100 channels and a set-top box. The new version of TVision appears to be more scalable than the original, a reported priority for T-Mobile.
There’s been no word yet on whether T-Mobile will offer specific discounts or bundles with its own wireless service, as AT&T did during the launch of HBO Max. Like AT&T, T-Mobile also has the advantage of already having a profitable core business. “T-Mobile’s video services both promote and are subsidized by the carrier’s core wireless service,” Interpret VP Brett Sappington told Forbes. “For this reason, T-Mobile could have significant advantages over virtual MVPD rivals in their ability to preserve prices and cost-effectively market these video services.”
The good news for T-Mobile is that several of its customers are already accustomed to general live TV streaming services, with adoption rates similar to those of AT&T customers (AT&T has offered its own streaming live TV services since late 2016). T-Mobile’s customers also have higher adoption than customers of Verizon, according to Interpret’s New Media Measure®. Verizon has previously partnered with both YouTube TV and Hulu to offer streaming services to its customers.