News broke this morning about T-Mobile’s acquisition of internet TV provider Layer3 and its plans for a streaming TV service. What few reports have looked at is the way Layer3 puts 4K at the center of its strategy.
Layer3 provides internet-based TV services to only five markets in the United States.
Streaming TV services like Sling TV rely on standard internet services. Layer3, on the other hand, has its own fiber optic network and proprietary set-top box.
Additionally, Layer3 doesn’t try to offer a cheap $40 subscription – its customers pay between $80 and $150 per month.
Essentially, Layer3 tries to out-cable the cable companies by taking a 21st Century approach to television.
A pre-launch article in Wired explained how the Layer3 combines its fast network with more efficient compression technologies to deliver a high-quality experience to its customers.
Layer3’s technology executive, Charles Hasek had this to say about his company at a Sports Video Group industry panel:
“One of our hallmarks is providing the best video quality in the industry. 4K content is some of our most viewed content.”
Layer3’s high-quality streaming tech is the main reason T-Mobile just purchased it.
The acquisition will likely be important going forward. 4K streaming could be the differentiator that makes Layer3 / T-Mobile stand out in an increasingly crowded market.
Chris Casper is a former tech industry product manager who escaped from California for New Mexico. Now he writes about science and tech while searching for the perfect green chile sauce.