T-Mobile yesterday launched a $ 5 per. Month 5G home internet service and said it will generally deliver download speeds of 50 to 1
The $ 60 monthly price includes everything, T-Mobile said, promising: “No extra taxes or fees. No equipment fees. No contracts. No surprises or exploding bills.” The service has no data capacity, but T-Mobil’s home Internet customers get lower speeds than mobile customers in times of congestion.
“During congestion, home Internet customers may notice speeds that are lower than other customers due to data prioritization,” T-Mobile said in a footnote to the announcement. T-Mobile says this should be rare. In its Open Internet statement, T-Mobile said that home Internet “customers receive the same network priority as heavy data users, but should be less likely to experience congestion because the equipment is quiet and accessible in restricted areas.” “Heavy data users” are mobile customers facing potential downturns because they exceed a certain limit, which is 50 GB per month on most T-Mobile plans. The 50 GB threshold is not used for 5G home internet, but the home service can be slowed down in relation to mobile speeds when the network is congested, even if a home customer did not use much data that month.)
T-Mobile notes that “[v]video streaming resolution depends on available speeds, “and there seems to be no strict limit on video resolution. A CNET reporter who tested the service wrote:” I have streamed hours of 4K video, attended Zoom meetings, downloaded large games for installation and so on, all without a hiccup to report. “T-Mobile told Ars that its typical Internet speeds” far exceed the bandwidth needed to stream 4K video. “
A T-Mobile FAQ said: “We expect most new T-Mobile home customers to see average download speeds in excess of 100 Mbps, and all eligible households are expected to see average download speeds of 50 Mbps or more. Speeds may vary depending on location, signal strength and availability, time of day and other factors.[m]New T-Mobile Home Internet customers can expect average upload speeds between 10 and 25 Mbps. “Latency is typically between 21 and 35 ms,” T-Mobile said.
T-Mobile said customers will receive “the maximum speed that the network is able to offer at their home location” as there is no option to upgrade to a faster plan.
30 million homes eligible
T-Mobile said 30 million households (about a quarter of the total number in the United States) are “eligible” for the Internet service, but it’s not clear how many customers the company can take on before cutting off sign-ups. You can check if the service is available at your address on this web page. T-Mobile said 10 million of the eligible households are in rural areas of the United States, while the rest are in urban and suburban areas.
T-Mobile launched a 4G LTE home service two years ago. The company already has 100,000 home Internet customers and “has said it expects to count about 500,000 regular wireless customers by the end of this year,” according to Light Reading. “Within the next five years, T-Mobile said it expects to win between 7 million and 8 million fixed wireless Internet customers.”
T-Mobile also provided this PDF showing the cities where the 5G home service is available. Lots of metro areas are included, but the service may be easier to get to less densely populated areas. Light Reading quoted New Street Research as saying that T-Mobile “will only sell capacity for fixed broadband sub in markets where they have more than their mobile subs could possibly use. We estimate that they could only support 4.1 million average fixed broadband sub-subs in markets where they have excess capacity. “
“T-Mobile takes subscribers on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity runs out, and then adds subscribers when it adds capacity. [T-Mobile Executive VP Dow] Said Draper, “according to PCMag.
In its Frequently Asked Questions, T-Mobile said: “We are working aggressively to expand the T-Mobile Home Internet Service to more and more people, but do not currently have specific placement dates.”
“Availability can and will change in local areas as more customers in this area sign up,” T-Mobile told Ars. “And in the short term, availability may be affected by Wi-Fi gateway availability until global supply chains normalize.”
5G home gateway
Customers receive a router-and-modem gateway that “converts [the] 5G signal to Wi-Fi and provides a Wi-Fi signal available for all devices in your home, “said T-Mobile. The device uses Wi-Fi 6 along with”[m]uti-user MIMO, which creates more capacity as more users connect, improving individual speeds when multiple devices have access to Wi-Fi, “said T-Mobile. Customers can set up to four network names (SSIDs) at each gateway.
To start the service at home, “turn on your T-Mobile High-Speed Internet Gateway, download the T-Mobile Home Internet app (Android or iOS), and follow a few instructions,” the company said.
T-Mobile does not support use away from the address where you purchase service. “T-Mobile High-Speed Internet Gateway is specific to your qualified address, so you can not move it from one place to another. This helps us ensure that the place of use meets our network standards to provide you with high quality of service, “said T-Mobile.