T-Mobile announced this week that it is diving headfirst into providing more 5G-related offerings, including fixed wireless broadband powered by the company’s 5G network and a much larger effort to bring 5G to rural communities across the United States. In a statement, T-Mobile’s senior leaders said anyone in the country can trade in any mobile phone and get a 5G smartphone for free. The statement noted that even those with an AT&T or Verizon smartphone plan can switch over to T-Mobile for the same price or less.
SEE: Future of 5G: Projections, rollouts, use cases, and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
In addition to the 5G-backed wireless broadband, the company is also hiring 7,500 new employees to work on 5G projects across a number of small towns and rural communities over the next few years. T-Mobile will also be donating $25 million in grants to local communities for “development projects.”
“This is the moment we’ve been working toward since we shared our vision for a faster, more inclusive future—a vision we called 5G for All—when we announced our plans to merge with Sprint three years ago,” said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile in a statement. “We’re quite literally the only company that can kickstart this new era of connectivity, that has the network to upgrade America’s phones, homes and small towns to 5G. And we’re just getting started.”
At $60 per month, the wireless broadband plan has no added taxes, fees, equipment costs or contracts. T-Mobile is offering average speeds of 100 Mbps for most new customers while also offering unlimited data and no caps.
The company will ship the 4G/5G gateway directly to your house and help you set it up. The offer is even available to those who are not currently using T-Mobile and you can easily cancel by simply sending the router back.
The announcement was part of T-Mobile’s Un-carrier Next event on Wednesday, and the broadband offering will see the company take on other competitors in the space like Verizon, AT&T, Charter and Comcast.
T-Mobile is also prioritizing rural communities with the 5G effort, announcing that 10 million of the more than 30 million households eligible for the offer were located in rural America. The statement said the company has plans to further expand into rural communities.
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“Since the beginning of the digital age, connectivity for rural America has been an afterthought,” said T-Mobile Senior Vice President Edwige Robinson.
“One of our most important goals is to ensure that small town America is not left behind during the transition to 5G. This is why 5G for All will span across the country—small towns as well as big cities, rural communities as well as the suburbs.”
The statement notes how important home broadband has become due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when millions had to work and attend school from home. Millions of people did not have high speed internet or broadband, forcing them to struggle as multiple people in a single household tried to have Zoom calls or video conferences.
“A year ago, affordable, reliable broadband was a good thing to have. Then along came the pandemic. Now it’s essential. But for too many Americans, high-speed internet is still an impossible dream. That changes today too, thanks to the Un-carrier’s expansive 5G network,” the company statement said.
“The issue of affordable, reliable broadband is particularly acute in rural America, where a quarter of all households don’t have access to ANY high-speed broadband. And nearly 40 percent of households that do have access live in areas with only one provider, which means no competition. That’s why T-Mobile made sure nearly 10 million of the households eligible for T-Mobile Home Internet today are in rural America, with plans to continue to expand access.”