Back in June, T-Mobile and Sprint announced that as part of their intended merger, they were planning to offer in-home internet based on 5G service, with the goal of becoming the fourth largest ISP in America by 2024. Based on statements to the FCC from T-Mobile’s COO Mike Sievert, we now have more details about what that service may look like, via Fierce Wireless.
According to Sievert, the combined Sprint and T-Mobile entity is setting its sights high when it comes to entering the home internet market. Its goal is to cover “52% of the zip codes across the county by 2024,” a chunk of that market that would include “64% of Charter’s territory and 68% of Comcast’s territory.” It’s an ambitious plan that would see the fledgling 5G service duking it out with some of the most entrenched and less competitive ISPs around. If it is successful and if the combined Sprint / T-Mobile’s 5G home internet really can offer comparable speeds and service to traditional home internet, it could bring some badly needed competition to the marketplace. Then again, those are some extremely big “ifs.”
As we mentioned before, T-Mobile is extremely optimistic about growth. The company has yet to announce a firm launch date for the service, but it hopes to have 1.9 million in-home wireless broadband customers by 2021. The company claims that roughly a quarter of those customers will be in rural markets, which tend to have less access to high-speed internet availability. So something like 5G, which would require far less infrastructure when it comes to laying wiring and fiber optic cable, could offer a big impact here.
And, as noted by Fierce Wireless, T-Mobile claims that its wireless service will allow customers to install the in-home equipment themselves, without having to deal with the hassle of making an appointment with the cable company and the associated fees and costs. That’s something that Verizon, which is the closest to launching in-home 5G internet, is currently struggling with.
All in all, these are a lot of very ambitious plans. But the questions remain: will Sprint and T-Mobile be allowed to merge to put them into action? And can the two companies really deliver?