Mobile, Xumo Teaming on 'Snackable' Video App for Metro Prepaid Service

Joanna Estrada
January 27, 2019

UPDATE: Xumo, the company that the original report claimed would be licensing its technology for this free T-Mobile mobile video service, has denied today's rumor. That may become a reality soon.

The carrier is reportedly planning to enter the streaming wars within the new few weeks with a free, ad-supported video service optimized from mobile streaming. Customers will be able to watch live and pre-recorded content. Layer3 services are now only available in select markets like Chicago, Washington D.C. and Dallas, so it will be interesting to see how accessible the service will be when it launches. Layer3 and Xumo had previously signed a deal in October 2017 to include Xumo's channels in its service.

During T-Mobile's third-quarter earnings call, Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert said T-Mobile wants to create the "first TV service of the 5G era", but that means having 5G-based internet service in homes nationwide.

At present, there are no official details on what the quality of the TV service will be like, or how robust the channel lineup will be, but considering this is supposedly a free service, it should be expected to be more of a budget-type streaming service. "The cable industry is ripe for disruption but it's hard to see how a phone-based TV service would be the most opportune way to do it". T-Mobile customers will be able to watch the service on their smartphones, tablets, or other internet-connected devices.

The service in mind indeed appears to be free and ad-based, but a lot smaller in terms of size and scope, and with Metro, the prepaid service from T-Mobile that was formerly known as MetroPCS.

Through its acquisition of Layer3 TV, T-Mobile eventually plans to take on traditional MVPDs such as Comcast, Charter Communications and DirecTV as well as virtual MVPDs like Sling TV, YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV.

It's quite possible the delays in the rollout of this T-Mobile service is due to the company needing more time to license content.

Xumo is not a live TV service in the way many people might understand that to be, although it does provide access to some live content such as CBS News and NBC News.

This week, Viacom confirmed plans to buy free, ad-supported streaming platform Pluto TV for $340 million.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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