T-Mobile Uses In-Home Test to Push Sprint Deal

T-Mobile continues to push for its merger with Sprint by emphasizing the uncarrier angle, particularly when it comes to becoming a disruptor in home (fixed wireless) space.

The company sent out an email Thursday trumpeting its new pilot home internet test, available to a limited number of its existing customers "by invitation only."

It said they should get about 50 Mbps for $50 a month, with "no data caps, no annual service contracts, no hidden fees and no equipment costs."

Related: Hill Gets Wildly Divergent Views of T-Mobile-Sprint

T-Mobile has been billing the merger in Washington has a chance to provide new in-home competition to the "Big Cable" broadband providers, a goal of the FCC, which is vetting the deal. It is also positioning the test in rural and underserved areas. Closing the rural digital divide is another FCC priority.

T-Mobile outlined its in-home plans to the FCC in this filing.

T-Mobile points out that at its current LTE capacity, it can only support about 50,000 homes ("50" seems to be a key figure in this trial), but that "with the scale and capacity of the New T-Mobile, we would cover more than half of U.S. households with 5G broadband service in excess of 100 Mbps by 2024!"

“Two weeks ago, I laid out our plans for home broadband with the New T-Mobile. Now, we’re already hard at work building toward that future,” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere. “We’re walking the walk and laying the foundation for a world where we can take the fight to Big Cable on behalf of consumers and offer real choice, competition and savings to Americans nationwide.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.