Mobile Video Spurs T-Mobile’s Third Straight Quarter Of 2 Million Plus New Customers
Just this week, the third biggest wireless carrier in the United States announced that it had posted its third consecutive quarter of having gained more than 2 million new subscribers. Indeed, for the final quarter of 2015, T-Mobile has added 2.1 million total new subscribers. This growth also contributed in racking up quarterly earnings of $297 million, or $0.34 per share, for the wireless carrier, surpassing the expectations set by Wall Street analysts.
One significant factor of T-Mobile’s growth has been its recent venture into mobile video territory. In November of last year, the wireless carrier first introduced its Binge On feature, basically a service that allows T-Mobile subscribers to stream unlimited video content from a specific list of video content providers, which include Netflix, ESPN, HBO, and Hulu, just to name a few. The really cool thing about this feature is that it lets people view videos without having to worry about their monthly data allotments getting affected.
And it is not just T-Mobile sensing the potential of mobile video. Even the biggest wireless carrier of them all, Verizon Wireless, is joining in on the fun. The Big Red first unveiled its Go90 mobile video service in September of last year. The following month, Verizon had launched the service to the general public, not only to its own subscribers, but to any mobile user regardless of his or her wireless carrier. And as recently as last January, there has been talk that AT&T may be developing its mobile video service, too.
Despite the success of T-Mobile’s Binge On feature, it was not without some controversy. YouTube (which is not included on Binge On) has complained that the mobile video service was throttling the quality of YouTube videos without their consent nor the customers’ consent. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an advocacy organization, has even published a report claiming that the Binge On feature does automatically throttle all kinds of video content for all customers, regardless if they are on Binge On or not.
In defending its Binge On service, T-Mobile has claimed that the customers themselves do not have a problem with the mobile video feature. And with regards to the throttling, the wireless carrier said that it was merely “optimizing” the videos for better viewing on mobile devices. Remarkably, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is yet to express its official opinion on the matter. And then there are certain circles claiming that the Binge On feature actually violate the net neutrality rules. The FCC is yet to decide if T-Mobile is indeed guilty of any violation.