T-Mobile will make Google Messages its default messaging app for customers on Android devices, provide new backup and storage options via the Google One cloud service, offer an expanded lineup of Google Pixel devices, and adopt YouTube TV as its default service for premium live TV under an expanded partnership.
Its a major change for T-Mobiles TVision service, which was launched just a few months ago, including both live and on-demand content. T-Mobile says the existing TVision Live, Live + and Live Zone services will be phased out starting April 29.
T-Mobile customers will get a $10/month discount on YouTube TV, bringing the price down to $54.99/month, as well as a month of free service.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless carrier had previously compared its $50/month TVision Live TV+ service to the standard $65/month YouTube TV plan. However, YouTube TV offers additional perks such as unlimited cloud DVR storage, while T-Mobile limited cloud DVR storage to 100 hours. T-Mobile is also partnering with Philo as its basic live TV service, available for $10/month.
T-Mobile declined to disclose financial terms of the Google partnership, and didnt detail the business reasons for the live television switch.
In a blog post, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert pitched the changes as a big upgrade, citing a greater number of channels, better features and device support.
A company spokesperson said via email, Our experience has shown us that customers need an advocate in the space more than ever. They need better ways to discover and access the content they want at affordable prices and that combat subscription fatigue. Were more committed to that vision than ever before, and while we may adjust our offer strategy by listening to customers and changing market dynamics, we wont stop fighting for whats right for our customers.
T-Mobile customers who already subscribe to YouTube TV will be able to get the monthly discount by canceling their current subscriptions and signing up again with a coupon code, the company says.
With the moves, announced Monday afternoon, Google and T-Mobile are teaming up against Apple and its tightly integrated portfolio of hardware, software and services, by aligning their interests in the Android ecosystem. As with most things in the tech industry these days, T-Mobile also partners with Apple, and offers iPhones and other Apple devices to customers.
The expanded deal with Google reflects T-Mobiles growing clout in the wireless industry after merging with Sprint last year. The company topped 100 million subscribers and has become a more formidable competitor against AT&T and Verizon, building on its longtime role as an industry disruptor.
Google and T-Mobile first partnered in May 2020 to offer rich messaging capabilities to across different wireless networks. This allows customers to see when the people theyre texting with are typing a reply, for example. Its an everyday occurrence for iPhone users chatting with one another on Apples Messages app, but still a novelty for many Android users.
T-Mobile and Google say they will work together to expand upon those messaging features under the new partnership. In addition, they say in a news release that they plan to build a messaging business together, focusing in part on new ways for businesses to use Google Messages to engage with customers.