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T-Mobile announces acquisition of Layer3 TV, says it plans to launch 'disruptive new TV service' in 2018

  • T-Mobile makes a foray into television, announcing it is acquiring Layer3 TV.
  • CEO John Legere says T-Mobile is going to "fix the pain points" of television.
  • T-Mobile's effort is a clear shot at AT&T, which offers its streaming option DirecTV Now.
John Legere
Mark Neuling | CNBC
John Legere

T-Mobile is making a foray into television, announcing Wednesday it is acquiring Layer3 TV to launch "a disruptive new TV service."

CEO John Legere said T-Mobile is going to "fix the pain points" of television "and bring real choice to consumers across the country."

"I can't wait to start fighting for consumers here," Legere said.

After the announcement, shares of Comcast were down 2 percent, while Charter fell 1 percent and AT&T and Verizon were down fractionally. T-Mobile's stock rose 1.3 percent.

T-Mobile's effort is a clear shot against AT&T, which offers its DirecTV Now streaming option. T-Mobile also said it's launching the new service in an effort to disrupt cable networks.

"People love their TV, but they hate their TV providers," Legere said. "And worse, they have no real choice but to simply take it."

Customers across all wireless carriers already have access to streaming solutions ranging from Hulu Live TV to YouTube TV, Sling and Sony's PS Vue. While it's not clear how the new service stands out, it's possible T-Mobile will offer free access to certain customers on higher-paid tier plans.

Layer3 TV says it offers 275 HD channels, supports HDR and provides more than 25,000 on-demand titles. Channels available to customers include ABC, ESPN, Fox, HBO, NBC, CBS, History, FX, AMC and MTV.

Layer3 TV isn't available across the U.S. yet, however, so T-Mobile may help it spread to more areas. The third-largest U.S. telecom company by subscribers, T-Mobile claims to have the country's fastest LTE data network.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.