T-Mobile is seeing two primary types of customers for its fixed wireless offering, said Mike Katz, T-Mobile chief marketing officer, at an investor conference yesterday.
It’s important information, considering that the company garnered 1 million fixed wireless customers within the first year of launching the service.
One major fixed wireless customer group, Katz said, includes rural customers who previously had to rely on either satellite broadband or DSL. The other group, he said, includes people in more urban and suburban areas who only have one option for high-speed broadband “and they’re kind of fed up with it,” he said.
Reasons for being fed up, he said, are those that T-Mobile highlighted in its recent “Un-carrier” announcements such as “exploding prices,” he said.
The Un-carrier announcement he referenced apparently was the one made earlier this month when T-Mobile announced prices as low as $30 a month for fixed wireless service for customers who are also on T-Mobile’s Magenta Max family plan for mobile service.
At that time, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said T-Mobile is seeing average speeds of 140 Mbps for its 5G Home Internet fixed wireless service, which he said is comparable to the average 160 Mbps seen by cable companies. Katz made a similar observation yesterday, stating that 75% of fixed wireless customers get speeds that are “almost exactly the same as cable.”
In addition, he said average fixed wireless customers use between 300 and 400 gigabytes of data per month, which he said is also almost the same as for cable.
Forty percent of fixed wireless customers are coming from “big cable,” he said.
Katz’s comments match an analysis completed last month by financial analysts at MoffettNathanson that showed that “a meaningful number” of T-Mobile fixed wireless customers were coming from cable and that rural customers, who represent just 5% of potential customers who can get T-Mobile fixed wireless, comprise 24% of the company’s fixed wireless subscribers.
The company also sees fixed wireless as a means of gaining new mobile customers, Katz said. Pointing to the bundled deal announced earlier this month, he said, “We think we’ve got an opportunity to use broadband as the first relationship we have with a customer or a household. It allows them to test out the network in a pretty extreme use case . . . and then convert them into wireless.”
Katz made his comments at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit. A replay is available at this link.