T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert described his company's fixed wireless access (FWA) home internet product as being "mainstream" and "ready for its prime time moment" Wednesday, after revealing that the nascent service finished 2021 with 646,000 customers, up from only around 100,000 in one year.
"The majority of our customers come from suburban and urban markets, and the majority of those are coming from cable and fiber, and other things," added Dow Draper, executive VP of emerging products for T-Mobile, speaking alongside Sievert during the wireless company's Q4 earnings call.
"We're half the price in a lot of cases against cable companies when you add in their fees and all the different charges they have. Also, it's simplistic. We don't have price hikes. I mean, customers are generally very unhappy with the cable industry," Draper added.
T-Mobile is currently promoting its 5G Home Internet service for $50 a month to existing customers in markets including Los Angeles, touting that everything associated with the product, including the 5G gateway, comes without any additional fees or "hidden costs."
Currently, cable operators control around 70% of the wireline broadband market in the U.S.
However, Bloomberg published new data on Wednesday suggesting that 22% of the 3.7 million new broadband customers signed up by U.S. telecom companies in 2021 were FWA subscribers. T-Mobile accounted for the largest portion of those 819,000 FWA signups, but Verizon's nascent FWA service factored in, as well.
For their part, equity analysts have for the most part dismissed the notion that wireless companies can make a more significant dent in cable's wireline internet dominance with FWA, citing a lack of network capacity as one of the reasons.
Sievert, however, claimed that T-Mobile FWA users are consumer 300-400 gigabytes of data per month, with a portion of the based even exceeding 1 terabyte of monthly usage.
"I think some people are going to be surprised at how mainstream this [FWA] product really is," Sievert said.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!