T-Mobile to launch TV service in 2018, challenging cable and satellite giants with acquisition of Layer3 TV

T-Mobile says it will launch its own TV service in 2018, expanding its competitive focus beyond the U.S. wireless giants to target major cable and satellite providers with its latest “Uncarrier” initiative.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless company says it will acquire Layer3 TV Inc., a Denver, Colo.-based television technology company started by cable veterans, leveraging Layer3’s technology and team to provide the underpinnings for the new T-Mobile TV service.

In a video announcement, T-Mobile CEO John Legere makes it clear that he will take on cable companies Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Frontier and Fox with the same competitive zeal that he has applied to Sprint, AT&T and Verizon.

“It’s no secret that these guys are the absolute worst,” Legere says of the major cable TV and satellite providers.

The plan is T-Mobile’s latest move into video, following its “Binge On” initiative for unlimited mobile video streaming, and its incorporation of Netflix subscriptions into its T-Mobile One family plans.

T-Mobile has deployed an aggressive marketing campaign in recent years, branding the company as the wireless “Uncarrier.” The initiative includes new pricing strategies, subscriber benefits and promotions that have, at times, forced T-Mobile competitors Verizon, Sprint and AT&T to change their own wireless packages and promotions. T-Mobile has been steadily adding subscribers for several years under this strategy, at a clip of more than 1 million net customer additions a quarter.