Late last year, T-Mobile acquired a small pay TV company called Layer3, which offers a cable-esque TV service in a handful of markets around the US. At the time, T-Mobile debuted the acquisition in its usual splashy way, saying that “we’re gonna fix the pain points and bring real choice to consumers across the country,” with some vague plan to have a cheap service with 250 channels.
Since last December, T-Mobile’s focus has shifted to pushing through its merger with Sprint, and we haven’t heard much about its TV plans. But all that could be about to change, as the company is now teasing another Un-carrier event on August 15th, and references to a TV service have popped up on the website.
Yesterday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted a 30-second teaser video showing him boxing up another carrier ‘relic,’ to go alongside things like limited data plans and, uh, taxes and fees.
A couple other leaks have been spotted that make us think the event on August 15th might have something to do with TV. Ads for Layer3’s existing TV service — which is around $90 a month for a cable-esque bundle, including a set-top box that you hook up to your home internet — are displaying for some users on T-Mobile’s website, depending on your location.
A job posting from T-Mobile’s website also shows the company is staffing up its engineering team for a TV expansion:
This fast-paced group is seeking self-motivated, go getter Software Embedded Engineers who will be responsible for creating Linux-based operating systems and embedded video applications that power Layer3 TV’s next-generation cable service. This individual will be developing the firmware on our consumer Set-Top-Box (STB) and these systems and applications exploit the tremendous potential of our remote controls and users’ own mobile devices.
Day to day responsibilities would include (not limited to) performing Root-causing production issues with the set-top-box and bug fixing, implementing new product features and maintaining the set-top-box operating system, platform, and video stack.
None of this means that T-Mobile is poised to launch a new TV service next week, but with a launch promised “some time in 2018,” it does seem possible.