Hulu + Live TV not accessible on T-Mobile's 5G home internet service - The UpStream

Hulu + Live TV not accessible on T-Mobile's 5G home internet service

posted Sunday Mar 8, 2020 by Scott Ertz

Hulu + Live TV not accessible on T-Mobile's 5G home internet service

In many markets, there is only a single internet service provider and, even if you have a choice, it's traditionally only a pair. Even then, many people lose options based on where they live. If you're in an apartment or a condo, it's not unusual for the complex to have an exclusivity deal with one service provider. It's also the case with malls, shopping centers, and business parks. One of the big promises of 5G technology has been its speed. A big benefit of the speed is the ability to break up the local monopolies that are the internet service providers.

However, with all new technologies can come hiccups. The first big deployment of 5G as a home internet service is from T-Mobile in a test market of about 50,000 homes. Unfortunately, the service does not support some of the most important internet technologies. In particular, the T-Mobile Home service does not support Hulu + Live TV. This appears to be because of a limitation with Hulu's service. Hulu detects the T-Mobile Home service as a cellular hotspot and disables access to live TV.

This will not be the only time that this problem will be encountered. A variety of services have limitations against hotspots because of licensing deals, overhead, etc. As more home-based 5G services roll out across the country, more customers are going to encounter services that detect the internet service as exactly what it is. And it will be a challenge for the internet service providers to solve, as adding something into the protocol to report as a stationary connection could easily be exploited. Then, with some simple alterations, an Android device could easily be set to report as stationary, as well.

Of course, the reality of a proper 5G-based home internet service is still a way off for most people. The implementation of 5G is slow going, and the number of devices available is still small, and even lower when it comes to home hardware. However, this will be an issue that the internet providers and services will need to solve sooner rather than later.


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