T-Mobile is riding the fixed wireless access (FWA) 5G wave like nobody’s business.

The company introduced Home Internet Backup, which provides a 5G backup internet connection for people on traditional ISP plans – like cable and fiber – an alternative if their service goes down.

Citing data from CivicScience, T-Mobile said nearly 20% of U.S. internet users say their internet goes out at least a few times a month. That’s a hassle, to say the least, so T-Mobile is coming to the rescue.

The Home Internet Backup sells for $30 a month with autopay, and customers with an eligible T-Mobile voice line can pick it up for $20 a month for a limited time.

It comes with 130 GB of 5G data per month, which should be enough to keep a typical household connected with Wi-Fi for up to seven days per month when their primary internet service goes down, according to T-Mobile.

For a lot of people, using a mobile phone as a hotspot when the primary internet connection goes down is probably sufficient. But for those who want peace of mind or a more robust solution, T-Mobile’s Home Internet Backup promises broader coverage. It comes with a 5G gateway and the self-install set-up process is said to be 15 minutes or less.

Different take

It’s a different take on targeting customers for T-Mobile’s FWA service, said Bill Ho, lead analyst at 556 Ventures. If customers buy into the back-up notion, they’re in essence test driving it against their current ISP provider.

The best hope for T-Mobile is the experience exceeds that of the customer’s current ISP. Alternatively, those that want a legitimate backup likely will be price insensitive to accepting an offering like this, he said. 

It’s also taking another shot at cable providers, which have been T-Mobile’s primary target since it launched its FWA service. T-Mobile boasts that it’s the fastest growing home internet provider in the U.S., already serving 5 million customers nationwide. Its target is to serve 7 million to 8 million FWA customers by the end of 2025.

The Home Internet Backup offer will be available in T-Mobile stores and online starting today, Thursday, June 6.

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