We have been hearing about T-Mobile’s Home Internet for years now, but it is finally coming in a meaningful way to the market, thanks to 5G.
The premise is excellent: customers can get fast broadband access without complex installations (drill holes in the wall), an affordable price, and outstanding reliability (when was the last time your 4G/5G was down?). Many legacy providers cannot say the same thing, especially those that are still selling low-speed access.
I also understand that T-Mobile will not be charging for equipment rental. However, customers receive a modem/router (with 2 Ethernet ports) for their self-installation powered by a smartphone app.
T-Mobile a limited-service (100k customers) based on 4G networks a couple of years ago, but 5G’s extra speed and capacity is the game-changer here, and things can finally get into high gear.
First, how fast is T-Mobile Home: the company says that people should expect speeds from 50-100 Mbps (download) and 10-25Mbps (uploads) at an estimated latency of 21-35ms (official info). That is well in line with what most people need. Right there, it can beat a lot of legacy offerings, especially at the $60/mo price.
There is no higher-tier plan to get faster speeds. T-Mobile is offering the fastest 5G speed it can, and that may increase dramatically later as the coverage improves, especially if your home is within a mmWave 5G station. The coverage seems to rely on sub-6 5G now, and I haven’t heard anyone get mmWave speeds in this context.
Are there data caps? “No” says T-Mobile. However, the company reserves the right to clamp down on what it deems to be abusive usage of its network, such as machine-to-machine transactions. Most people should not worry about caps but read your ToS when in doubt.
Depending on network conditions, T-Mobile might also slow down the speed to manage the bandwidth among users.
T-Mobile’s coverage would allow up to 10M household, but T-Mobile’s capacity for this year is about 500,000 new customers accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The enrolment will gain momentum, and up to 7-8 million new customers could join within the next five years, according to T-Mobile’s estimations.
For anyone who has been living in an underserved area, with low-speed and low-options for Internet services, this could change your computing life. It is great to see 5G finally delivering on the home internet promise and other solutions such as Starlink. You can check your eligibility on this page.
T-Mobile’s solution could act as an affordable backup solution if you cannot tolerate any downtime for those fortunate enough to have a great Internet connection already. Visit the official T-Mobile Home Internet page and the additional FAQ.