John Legere all but confirms T-Mobile TV’s launch will be delayed to 2019, and promises ‘real, live’ 5G

T-Mobile CEO John Legere accepts the award for CEO of the Year at the 2018 GeekWire Awards. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

T-Mobile CEO John Legere is outlining how he sees 2019, and it’s a vision of 5G, taking on cable and satellite TV, and continued jabs at the company’s mobile competitors.

In a blog post Thursday morning, Legere unveiled his “top 10” predictions for the year ahead. Perhaps the most significant was the tacit confirmation that highly touted T-Mobile TV — which was to launch in 2018 — will be delayed into 2019.

“In 2019, we’ll take our first steps to take on another stupid, broken, arrogant industry — maybe the stupidest, brokenest, arrogantest industry of all: Cable and Satellite TV,” Legere wrote. “We’ll start to take on the Cableopoly on all fronts – TV AND broadband … all backed by the same Un-carrier approach of listening to customers and solving their pain points.”

T-Mobile TV was supposed to launch this year, after T-Mobile completed its $325 million acquisition of Denver-based Layer3 TV in January. However, reports earlier this month said the project “proved more complex than expected,” potentially leaving T-Mobile the choice of launching a “garden-variety” streaming platform to meet its self-imposed year-end deadline, or wait to develop a more unique Un-carrier offering.

Legere’s post today promotes the latter, as it criticizes Comcast and Charter and how Legere says they treat customers. “They’ll continue to screw them with hidden fees and deceptive billing, as they struggle with new competitors (ahem) in both TV and broadband,” he said.

Of the 10 predictions, three take on the “cableopoly,” with another three more taking on 5G and T-Mobile’s competitors for that next-generation, high-speed wireless data network. Legere predicts “real, live” 5G in 2019.

“Not the 5G* Verizon and AT&T are touting, but real, mobile, standards-based 5G,” he said. “And T-Mobile will continue to be the only company with a real plan for nationwide 5G. And if the Sprint deal is approved, buckle up. The New T-Mobile will bring 5G to everyone, everywhere!”

However, Legere chose not to make a prediction about T-Mobile’s planned merger with Sprint, citing “respect” for the government process. “But I am optimistic that regulators will finish reviewing our merger with Sprint,” he said, “and they will see that the New T-Mobile will be a positive change for consumers and the country.”