T-Mobile Home Internet Won’t Support All Live TV Streaming

According to Cord Cutters News, T-Mobile Home Internet will soon be expanding its national footprint. But there’s at least one notable gotcha for the cord cutting crowd in search of streaming television options.

From T-Mobile’s ISP terms:

Not compatible with some live TV streaming services.

Unfortunately, it’s not entirely clear what T-Mobile is communicating. Is this a technical limitation of their LTE that could lift once it goes 5G, a policy intended to ensure bandwidth for all, an anti-competitive practice (as a television service provider), or merely alluding to streaming service’s regional and contractual content blackouts.

I’ve reached out to T-Mobile’s Media Relations team for clarification, but have yet to hear back. In any event, we’ve been down this path before and home-based cellular may be better than DSL in many cases and a boon in under-served areas, but T-Mobile Home Internet likely won’t compare favorably to cable and fiber performance… further exacerbated by content limitations.

UPDATE 2/28: T-Mobile has provided the following comment, which really doesn’t tell us much nor provide reassurances that they’re working the issue with problematic providers.

Most live TV services will work with TMobile Home Internet, but it’s best that customers check with their chosen live TV streaming provider to make sure.

(T-Mobile router photo courtesy of The Gadgeteer)

11 thoughts on “T-Mobile Home Internet Won’t Support All Live TV Streaming”

  1. By stating they are not compatible with some streaming services it could be that they are setting expectations. Although 50mbps is not terrible, it doesn’t sound 4K friendly (need some feedback here). And, it’s better than AT&T in my area. (Plus it’s got no caps!) Charter has 200mbps for $60 in my area ($45 on promo) but I’ll keep it in mind if Charter jacks up my rate.

  2. Larry, that was my point in inquiring. What exactly are folks signing up for and what should their expectations be. One Twitter pal wonders if it’s related to how they currently limit video resolution on phone data and resultant incompatibilities with some live TV streaming approaches leading. Given this is intended for home usage, I’d think they’d want to make sure TV offerings are solid.

  3. FWIW: I asked about that in online chat:
    Kendra at 12:18, Feb 26: Hello! My name is Kendra with T-Mobile Home Internet! Thank you for your interest in our service! At this time we support everything but not hula live.

    Me at 12:19, Feb 26: So you support YoutubeTV ?
    Kendra at 12:19, Feb 26: Yes.

    Me at 12:21, Feb 26: Do you limit the resolution on youtubeTV? For example if a show is 720p or 1080p you don’t reduce it ?
    Kendra at 12:21, Feb 26: No we do not.

  4. I wonder if they will get the Hulu Live issue worked out? I switched from Tivo (Spectrum) to Hulu Live and would like to use for internet instead of Spectrum when it becomes available in my area.

  5. AT&T’s $35/month unlimited* LTE “tablet” plan works just fine by setting it up in a tablet then moving that SIM to a hotspot…it’s what I use for travel/backup.

    *throttling possible after the first 22GB/month…but I’ve never experienced it.

  6. I will stick to my fiber service when I’m at home… even with the fastest of these speeds, ftth is as fast or faster, as far as I’m aware, and the more rural you are, the less likely you’d see the best in class service (I still see pockets of 4G in a lot of well-developed areas, so I don’t expect 5G saturation to get there for quite some time). There are a lot of good services out there, so not sure where this one will fit in, but I don’t expect it to be a long-lasting thing. Of course, I always pick the wrong line in the grocery store or school pick-up lane, so this may end up being the greatest single creation since the internet!

  7. I bet anything they offer will be faster than the 20 mbps down and 1 mbps up I currently have. Comparing the gigabit speed I got in japan, the US is a backward country.

  8. I think they are saying this due to the IP geolocation that some services do for local channels. I have a T-Mobile hotspot that I use. My physical location may be Ohio, but my ip shows that I am located in Pittsburgh PA or Manhattan.

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