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T-Mobile signs content deal with Viacom ahead of planned video service

T-Mobile US Inc. has entered a distribution agreement with Viacom Inc., the parent company of MTV, Comedy Central, BET and others, ahead of the planned launch of a streaming content service by the mobile phone provider later this year.

In a press release, T-Mobile said the agreement calls for Viacom to provide on-demand and live linear feed for the carrier's 80 million customers.

"Today’s landmark announcement marks a major step forward in our strategy to accelerate the presence of our brands on mobile and other next-generation platforms, and we’re excited to partner with T-Mobile to provide millions of subscribers with access to our networks and more choice in a new service that will be unlike any other in the market," Viacom President and CEO Bob Bakish said in the release.

The agreement follows T-Mobile’s 2018 acquisition of Layer3 TV, the first part of a plan by the mobile provider to develop a broadband, video and mobile service for 5G that it says will disrupt the traditional cable and streaming video industries.

In late March, T-Mobile announced a pilot program to test in-home broadband in up to 50,000 homes in rural and other underserved communities this year. The unlimited service, which has no data caps, long-term contracts or hidden fees, costs $50 per month with auto-pay.

The company said it plans to expand its coverage to more than half of the ZIP codes in the U.S. by 2024, with the capacity to help more than 9.5 million households leave their existing provider.