T-Mobile today launched its eagerly awaited 5G Home Internet fixed wireless offering, making it available to 30 million U.S. households, including 10 million in rural areas.
The service will sell for $60 a month without a contract and with no added taxes or equipment or other fees. Service will be unlimited and the company expects to deliver speeds of 100 Mbps for “most new customers.”
The company also launched what it is calling “T-Mobile Hometown,” an initiative that will bring T-Mobile retail stores to hundreds of small towns over the next two years. According to the company, the stores will create 5,000 new direct jobs and thousands more in construction and services to build and maintain them.
The company is creating another type of job opportunity as well. As the company explains in a press release, “In areas where T-Mobile can’t place retail stores, the Un-carrier is shaking things up with an innovative new approach called Hometown Experts.
“A Hometown Expert is the official T-Mobile representative in a community. Think of it as a one-person store, but without a traditional storefront. Hometown Experts will do most things our brick-and-mortar store employees do, including connecting people to T-Mobile’s 5G network and Home Internet service,” today’s announcement outlines.
T-Mobile expects to hire 2,500 Hometown Experts and has already posted job listings for the first 1,000 of those positions. A web page about the initiative shows experts meeting customers at their homes or while leaning against someone’s pickup truck.
Altruism or Obligation?
Today’s T-Mobile 5G Home Internet announcement includes a quote from T-Mobile Senior Vice President Edwige Robinson saying “One of our most important goals is to ensure that small town America is not left behind during the transition to 5G.”
There is also a quote from T-Mobile Executive Vice President Jon Freier saying “At T-Mobile, our commitment to small town America is about more than infrastructure. It’s about a long-term commitment to support the people and local businesses who help rural communities thrive and grow.”
It’s worth noting, though, that T-Mobile’s motivation isn’t quite as altruistic as it may sound.
As a condition of regulatory approval of T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint last year, the company committed to offering 5G at speeds of at least 100 Mbps to 66% of the rural U.S., and 50 Mbps to 90% within six years.
In its efforts to gain support for the merger back in 2018, the company also touted plans to open hundreds of retail stores in rural areas and to hire 5,000 employees for those stores.
T-Mobile said earlier this month that it expects to have 500,000 customers for 5G Home Internet by the end of the year and to have between 7 million and 8 million customers for the service within five years.