T-Mobile Mini: T-Mobile’s new streaming video player outed by a user manual

After embracing third-party streaming services in its cellphone packages for years, T-Mobile might finally be crafting one of its own design, a new FCC filing suggests.

The filing, which goes by the very memorable name FCC ID WQTVM3011C, was accepted earlier this week by the FCC and details a new player from Kaonmedia Co. a company that previously build set-top boxes for T-Mobile's Layer3 TV subsidiary. 

And while that all sounds like a crafty way to hide a big product announcement, if you click the User Manual PDF on the filing, the first words are "T-Mobile Mini". 

The Mini, which we believe will be T-Mobile's first company-branded streaming device, will enable users to stream video to their TVs, bypassing a cable box – similar in design to Roku players and Amazon Fire TVs. Unlike those players, however, the documents show that the Mini will offer both HDMI In and HDMI Out ports on the back – allowing you to connect additional devices to the streaming box. 

Part of T-Mobile's push onto TVs?

Typically, where there's a player, there's a streaming service. And T-Mobile definitely has one in the works.

According to a report on Variety back in August, T-Mobile's COO Mike Sievert  claimed in an earnings call that a streaming service was not only in the works, but that he expected it to launch sometime by the end of the year: "This is a market that needs to be uncarriered,” he said. “Customers do have a lot of needs.” 

While Sievert's enthusiasm is admirable, streaming is quickly becoming a crowded space – not only are there a half-dozen established streaming devices already, but more come out of the woodwork every day. Earlier this week, for example, a report from CNBC reported that Comcast has a new player in the works that's part of a broadband-only cable subscription while Disney just today announced a new name and additional details on its streaming service, Disney+.

Will T-Mobile be able to shake things up TVs the way it has cellphone plans? We'll just have to wait and see.

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