T-Mobile plans to launch fixed wireless broadband, company CEO John Legere said in a company blog post this week. The service will rely on both 4G and 5G technologies, Legere explained, but didn’t offer a firm timeline..
Legere promised to deliver 100+ Mbps speeds for wireless broadband to 90% of the population and in-home service to over half the country’s households by 2024. The company will provide customers with an in-house router that they can self-install with a mobile app.
“With the New T-Mobile and our unique 5G capabilities, we’ll be able to offer a fast and reliable alternative for in-home broadband,” Legere said. “In this digital economy, access to the internet has become critical to our everyday lives. For most American households today, the options for in-home broadband are scarce according to the most recent FCC data, 28.9% of U.S. households and 61.1% of rural households have no in-home broadband service or only one provider of in-home broadband. For high-speed in-home broadband of 100 Mbps, the picture is even bleaker. Almost half the country’s households – 45% – have no high-speed service or only one option to choose from. Of rural households, more than three quarters (76%) have no high-speed service or only one choice available.”
T-Mobile’s fixed broadband solution will offer rural consumers another option, Legere said, blasting lack of true competition among cable companies, saying that they don’t look to enter each other’s markets. “New T-Mobile’s business plan is to have 9.5 million customers for our in-home broadband service by 2024. We will bring competition.”
When and if T-Mobile and Sprint merge, the router will be upgraded to include 2.5 GHz spectrum and 5G compatible hardware, Legere added in the blog post. The concept could be seen as a strategy to help get the T-Mobile-Sprint merger over the regulatory finish line. Regulators like talk of additional competition.