Nobody likes their ISP, and T-Mobile thinks that gives it an opening to expand into a new market. The carrier has announced an invitation-only pilot of its new home internet service, which will support as many as 50,000 homes this year. Of course, this is all part of T-Mobile’s efforts to build support for its attempt to merge with Sprint, becoming the “New T-Mobile.”
T-Mobile’s obsession with consuming Sprint is aimed largely at expanding the carrier’s access to spectrum for the coming 5G battle, but its home internet service isn’t even fake 5G like Verizon’s. T-Mobile Home Internet will start as an LTE service with a maximum throughput of 50Mbps. That’s not anywhere near what cable internet or 5G service could offer, but the pilot program won’t target areas where bandwidth is plentiful. T-Mobile also promises the home connections will be unlimited. Hopefully, it means really unlimited, unlike the “unlimited” cellular plans that throttle down to 2G speeds after 50GB of monthly usage.
Since the initial home internet rollout is invite-only, T-Mobile can control who gets to use the service. Its fixed wireless service will start out in rural and underserved areas. For many of these households, getting home internet in the 50-megabit range could be many times faster than what they had previously. That’s sure to earn T-Mobile some goodwill as it tries to reduce the number of national US carriers from four to three. Most industry experts say that will increase prices over time, an assertion that T-Mobile flatly denies.
Note to broadband providers: customers hate you! That’s why we’re starting our journey into the home internet business! Today is the first step in a long process, but broadband providers should prepare themselves!https://t.co/mShWFsv1k4 More info: https://t.co/szV2VJEcxw
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) March 21, 2019
T-Mobile stresses that the 50,000 home rollout is just a tiny fraction of the US market. However, if it is allowed to acquire Sprint, then the New T-Mobile could provide high-speed 5G home internet to more than half the US with capacity for 9.5 million households by 2024. It says this service would offer at least 100Mbps, which is an interesting number. We usually hear theoretical 5G speeds quoted in multiple gigabits. 100Mbps would be great for rural customers, but by 2024 most US households will expect more than that.
The home LTE service will run consumers $50 per month with automatic payments. Like mobile lines, there are no additional fees or contracts. The program will be limited to current T-Mobile customers, and there’s no way to request access. If you’re selected, T-Mobile will reach out via email or snail mail.
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