T-Mobile Offers Unlimited Video Streaming, But Resolution is Low
In its latest effort to distinguish itself from Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile has introduced an unlimited video streaming plan called Binge On. The free feature takes effect on Sunday, November 15, and will be in place automatically for all subscribers with a 3GB data plan or better. With Binge On, video streamed through 24 streaming services won't count against the subscriber's data cap. Those services are Crackle, DirecTV, Encore, ESPN, Fox Sports, Fox Sports Go, Go90, HBO Now, HBO Go, Hulu, MLB, Movieplex, NBC Sports, Netflix, Sling TV, Sling Box, Showtime, Starz, T-Mobile TV, Univision Deportes, Ustream, Vessel, Vevo, and Vudu. Yes, Verizon's Go90 and AT&T's DirecTV are part of the lineup.
Missing from that list are YouTube and Amazon Prime, among others. T-Mobile says it will add more services over time. Companies have to opt-in to the Binge On program.
The big catch with Binge On is that the unlimited streaming will be 480p standard definition. With even mobile devices having high-resolution screens nowadays, it remains to be seen whether or not standard def will appeal to subscribers.
T-Mobile customers are free to turn off Binge On using the company's web interface. If they do, they can stream video at higher rates but that data will count against their data caps as usual.
Customers using Binge On will get one free movie rental per month from Vudu. Sling TV is offering a promotion where T-Mobile subscribers can get 30 percent off a year of service for its Best of Live TV package.
While the details are scarce, T-Mobile seems intent on launching its own skinny bundle, and it thinks Layer3 can help make it a reality.
Video providers now have the opportunity to optimize their own mobile streams, and customers will find it easier to opt out of the program.
In its annual study on viewing habits, Ericsson sees a strong demand for user-generated content, and notes that cord-cutting and -shaving is still common.
Over 45 lifestyle series will be available for mobile viewing by Verizon customers by the end of this year.
Sharper screens, multicast, and phablets set the stage for the year ahead. As consumers watch more on mobile devices, how many subscriptions will they pay for?