DENVER -- 5G’s promise of faster speeds teamed with low latencies make the emerging next-gen mobile technology a great fit for video and pay TV services, Jeff Binder, executive vice president of home and entertainment at T-Mobile, said here Tuesday at the Pay TV Show.
“5G is the perfect delivery mechanism for video,” offering improvements over 4G/LTE, said Binder in a keynote conversation at the event, put on by Fierce and parent company Questex.
Binder, who joined T-Mobile following the mobile service provider’s acquisition of Denver-based Layer3 TV, reiterated that leading the 5G wave is a key component of the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.
Binder wouldn’t reveal much more new detail about T-Mobile’s plans for an OTT-delivered pay TV service in the wake of its acquisition of Layer3 TV, with respect to pricing and packaging, but said the plan remains to bring to bear a “disruptive” offering. He also reconfirmed that the current plan is to launch that product later this year.
Prior to the acquisition, Layer3 TV was largely focused on an in-home, full-freight pay TV service with 4K-capable boxes delivered over IP. Moving forward, T-Mobile’s plans is to bridge the TV with the more advanced and personalized capabilities that consumers get with their smartphones.
The TV has “been an island in the home,” Binder said. “Mobile and TV [today] look more alike than less alike." T-Mobile intends to change that, he said, adding that the plan is also bring T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier” principles to the pay TV realm.
“It’s more than branding,” Binder said of the Uncarrier approach, holding that T-Mobile’s approach has changed the wireless/mobile industry.
Pay TV, which continues to see subscriber numbers erode, is “ripe for disruption in that sense,” he added.
He said the T-Mobile deal will bring scale that Layer3 TV didn’t have on its own.
Before the deal, Layer3 TV was focused on an in-home product in a handful of markets, and found that the acquisition costs “were pretty reasonable,” Binder said.
However, the big challenge for a new, relatively small entrant is reach and cost of marketing, Binder pointed out. “You need scale. Scale is really important.”
Binder also hinted that the coming product won’t be a mobile-only play or rely solely on TV-connected devices that would only come from the company.
“We’ll look at various ways to serve what the customers want,” he said. “It’s about how customers want to consumer video.”