T-Mobile Gives Cord Cutting Alternatives to Its Streaming Service TVision

12 April 2021

Streaming platforms have gained a tremendous amount of traction in the past few years. We consume different forms of data every day. From news tracking through social media to daily Instagram updates about your favorite celebrities, everything is available at our fingertips. The most common form of data to be consumed, however, is video.

When we talk about the consumption of data in the form of video throughout the years, the most famous streaming platform of all time springs to mind - YouTube. According to Statista, every minute, at least 500 hours of video content gets uploaded on YouTube. Most of this content is available to Internet users across the globe without any hassle.

YouTube has been one of the most easily available sources of video content ever since its launch in 2005. It’s also notable that video content published on YouTube is accessible by every electronic device available to man. Whether you’re a dedicated phone user or like to use the good old desktop if you have an internet connection, you have easy access to the biggest repository of video content on the cloud.

Furthermore, people from various corners of the world can stream videos on YouTube. Owing to the widespread use and accessibility of mobile phones, this includes both urban and rural areas. This is one of the most important factors contributing to the success of a video streaming platform like YouTube.

Without a doubt, such a promising count of users have prompted several monetization opportunities for YouTube. This was a goldmine. Not only did YouTube become one of the most widely approached streaming platforms, but it also paved the way for several upcoming streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, etc.

With more streaming services tapping into the cash cow that is video content, the competition to stay ahead of the masses grew considerably. What’s even more notable is that YouTube did not lose this race. As of September 2019, YouTube became the most popular video streaming service with 163.75 million monthly active users in the United States.

Netflix followed YouTube with 46.55 million monthly users, and Hulu stood third with just about 26.5 million users. This pattern of success only strives to grow the bandwidth for streaming services in and outside of the United States.

With the ever-expanding business of streaming platforms, came the growing scope of mobile data plans. In the past decade, technology has helped a plethora of fields to grow. The greatest thing about such growth is that all these fields were advancing hand-in-hand. As video content on YouTube and other streaming platforms continued to increase, it opened up a whole new source of revenue for mobile telecommunication companies.

Because streaming platforms were an easily available commodity for mobile users as well, telecommunication companies had the opportunity to generate revenue vicariously through them. Today, we’re going to talk about one such telecommunication company - T-Mobile.

In the telecommunications market in the US, T-Mobile is one of the fastest-growing networks, falling just behind AT&T and Verizon. In August 2020, T-Mobile had an expanding family of 86 million subscribers, out of which 47 million were postpaid customers. These numbers only stood to grow to a staggering total of 102 million customers by the fourth quarter of 2020.

This growth of business for T-Mobile in the United States can be chalked up to their partnership with Sprint in April 2020. The objective behind this merger is to create the world’s fastest and largest growing 5G network that serves a truly exceptional experience to both Sprint and T-Mobile customers.

Mike Sievert, the CEO of T-Mobile addressed the merger by saying, “During this extraordinary time, it has become abundantly clear how vital a strong and reliable network is to the world we live in. The New T-Mobile’s commitment to delivering a transformative broad and deep nationwide 5G network is more important and more needed than ever and what we are building is mission-critical for consumers.”

He went on to talk about how this would benefit home broadband customers and their new-found approach to building the fastest 5G network around. He said, “With this powerful network, the New T-Mobile will deliver real choice and value to wireless and home broadband customers and double down on all the things customers have always loved about the Un-carrier. T-Mobile has been changing wireless for good — and now we are going to do it on a whole new level!”

Amidst this expansion of their network, it was certain that their move would be all the rage in the streaming industry. This further showed great promise for their streaming service TVision, which has been around since the Spring of 2019. However, for the lack of a better term, TVision is being shut down from April 29. 

T-Mobile’s very own streaming service, which was seen as a growing competitor of platforms like YouTube TV or Sling, is now being replaced with a seemingly better alternative. The TVision streaming service offered several packages for their customers. These included a 10$ per month subscription of 30 channels, also known as TVision Vibe Tier.

Furthermore, their services included a 40$ per month subscription called TVision Live news and Sports Tier, which did not offer CBS. Apart from this, they offered a 50$ per month subscription which included channels like the Big Ten Network, ESPNU, NFL Network, and regional NBC sports channels. This plan was called TVision Live Plus Tier.

TVision’s fourth and last subscription plan was a 60$ per month Live Zone Tier with the inclusion of NFL Red Zone, along with all the channels in the preceding plans. Among a highly demanding race to the top, TVision was only able to sustain itself for two years. As of April 29, TVision will stop functioning as a traditional streaming service.

In place of the streaming service, existing subscribers of TVision are offered a free month of Philo, an American internet television company that was first launched in 2009. Philo is a live streaming service with a wide variety of channels. At present, Philo gives its users access to 63 channels, among which there are channels like the Food Network, Nickelodeon, AMC, BBC America, BET, Comedy Central, HGTV, IFC, Lifetime, MTV, Discovery Channel, and VH1.

People who are already on a plan with TVision have the opportunity to take advantage of the wide selection of channels on Philo free of cost for one month. While this is a handsome offer, it’s important to note that Philo does not have a lot of sports-specific channels.

The substitute offers for TVision do not end with Philo. Existing subscribers of the streaming service can also choose to go with a free month of YouTube TV. YouTube TV offers its subscribers the service of streaming live TV from some of the most popular cable TV networks in the United States.

With YouTube TV, customers can also use a cloud-based DVR to record their favorite shows from more than 85 television networks. TVision subscribers have the option of availing themselves a free month of either Philo or YouTube TV. Although these alternatives are certainly appealing when compared with TVision’s selective streaming channels, it’s not all T-Mobile is offering.

T-Mobile, without a doubt, has a few more tricks up its sleeve. In a move that is described as a “big upgrade” by T-Mobile CEO Mike Seivert in a blog post addressing the change, T-Mobile is replacing TVision with discounts on the Live TV streaming services Philo and YouTube. As a T-Mobile customer, it’s imperative to note that Philo does not have as many sports channels as YouTube TV.

Instead of upgrading their own streaming service, T-Mobile chose to partner with existing streaming services. While this move may be susceptible to critique, it can be argued that it’s one of the smarter moves made by the company. This is not only because of their already large customer base but also because it increases their scope of existing partnerships, such as with Sprint, and growing opportunities for mergers with more streaming services.

CEO Mike Sievert writes in their blog post, “With TVision, we provide T-Mobile customers with preferential access to the world’s best streaming services. And we will make those services available on the TVision HUB, our exclusive low-cost TV streaming device that comes with a familiar, easy-to-use remote to make the leap from cable to streaming as smooth as possible.”

Before explaining the myriad of plans offered by T-Mobile as a replacement for TVision, he goes on to say, “Our customers can get all the streaming services we offer directly with exclusive rates and benefits, such as Netflix, MLB.tv, YouTube TV, and Philo (with more to come soon!), while also having access to just about any media out there because the TVision HUB is built on the familiar Android TV platform.”

TVision’s alternative plans are as followed:

  • For T-Mobile customers, TVision LIVE and VIBE subscribers are offered a 10$ off YouTube TV and/or Philo, for as long as they are connected with T-Mobile. Please note that this is a special offer that is exclusively curated for T-Mobile customers.
  • Existing TVision Live subscribers can avail of a free month of YouTube TV (64.99$ per month), to begin with. Furthermore, TVision Live customers are offered three months of YouTube Premium (11.99$ per month), which will be paid for by T-Mobile.
  • TVision VIBE customers will be able to start off with a free month of Philo (20$ per month).
  • As a cherry on top, all T-Mobile postpaid wireless and Sprint customers have the opportunity of getting 10$ off YouTube TV and/or Philo from April 6.

Overall, the above-mentioned alternatives are relatively tempting as opposed to TVision. With these plans, customers stand to have access to one of the largest streaming platforms, YouTube TV for 54.99$ per month. Plus, they will be able to subscribe to Philo for 10$ per month. However, it’s important to note that this offer is only for a limited time period.

Another thing to keep in mind is that T-Mobile hasn’t yet announced what the “limited time period” really is. So if you’re a T-Mobile customer and are excited about these changes to TVision, then make sure to be on the lookout for the ending date on this offer.

T-Mobile CEO Mike Seivert seems thrilled for the future of TVision with these alternatives. He writes in his blog post, “This is a big upgrade. YouTube TV offers more than twice as many channels as TVision Live, and Philo offers nearly twice as many channels as TVision VIBE. Plus customers of both get unlimited DVR, can watch TV on more devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Chromecast, and more.”

Mike further writes, “And just like previous TVision offerings, customers get these new services with no cable box, no annual contracts, no exploding bills, and no hidden fees. And they’ll still get T-Mobile’s team of thousands of friendly, knowledgeable mobile experts ready to help them cut the cord.”

 In Conclusion, this is a great opportunity for T-Mobile customers to get started with an exceptional streaming experience. Not to forget, T-Mobile’s partnership with Google only serves to add to this ordeal. So if you’re ready to cut the cord, this is the time to do it.

- Mobile Advisor

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