T-Mobile CEO hints at pricier TVision for nonsubscribers

The cheap rates are designed for the carrier's wireless users.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Eli Blumenthal
2 min read

T-Mobile's new TVision works on a variety of devices, but it will cost more for those who aren't T-Mobile wireless users. 


T-Mobile has joined the streaming TV battle with an update to its TVision service that starts as low as $10 per month for live entertainment channels. Initially opening to postpaid T-Mobile users on Nov. 1, with postpaid Sprint subscribers able to sign up later in the month, the service will be available to everyone regardless of your wireless carrier at some point next year. 

If you're looking to take advantage of TVision's cheaper pricing, however, you'll need to have a T-Mobile wireless plan. If not, expect to pay more than $10 per month for the Vibe package or $40 per month for the Live TV offering, which adds ESPN, CNN, TNT and other cable staples. 

"The launch that we did at these prices is for T-Mobile customers," CEO Mike Sievert told CNET. "When we offer it for non-T-Mobile customers there might be different prices. So you see the implied benefits for T-Mobile customers in today's prices." 

Sievert notes that the company did not announce any non-T-Mobile pricing yet, adding that he views the service similar to the company's prior "un-carrier" moves. "We make big investments, bold investments in our customers," he said, adding that while not each move is profitable on its own, it allows the carrier to further its relationships with current customers, keep those users with T-Mobile for longer and lure switchers from Verizon and AT&T

Sievert also views the move as something that disrupts the profitability of his rivals, equating Tuesday's announcement and the TVision pricing for T-Mobile users to the company's decision to remove global roaming charges in 2013. International roaming, he says, was a "profit pool" for AT&T and Verizon but not T-Mobile. This made it easier for the carrier to give data roaming away and add value for its users while differentiating from competitors. 

As for subscribers to the first version of TVision that launched last April, Sievert says nothing will change for those customers right now and it will still be supported even as the new system rolls out. 

Over time he expects current TVision subscribers to migrate to the new service, which he sees as the "future." To further that process, Sievert says that there is going to be an offer for those subscribers at some point that will "make every single one of 'em so happy they were an early adopter and they had the patience to work with us while we were out with an early product." 

There is no timeline for when this offer might arrive, but it is in the works. "It took us a while to get this product done, and we're so proud of it," Sievert said of Tuesday's launch. "We want everybody to have it."