T-Mobile today said it’s providing its fixed wireless access (FWA) Home Internet service in 57 cities in Texas. Nearly a quarter of the Texas homes passed with the home internet service are in small towns and rural areas.
The news from Texas highlights T-Mobile’s big push into home internet. The mobile carrier has made it clear that it wants to move in on cable internet providers such as Comcast, Charter and Cox.
For its FWA service T-Mobile mails a gateway to customers, which is self-installable and according to the carrier takes 15 minutes to connect.
In October 2021 T-Mobile lowered the price of its fixed wireless Home Internet service to $50 per month with autopay. And it guarantees no price hikes and no added taxes, fees or other hidden charges.
The carrier’s entry into the FWA market is aimed at garnering a new revenue stream from its unused mobile network capacity. Verizon is doing something similar for its FWA offering.
T-Mobile has identified a pool of about 30 million homes in the U.S. that are good potential candidates for FWA. These “addressable” homes are in areas where there’s excess mobile network capacity and good signal quality.
Originally, T-Mobile touted its fixed Home Internet as a way to serve broadband to underserved rural areas, which are often neglected by cable companies and DSL providers. But recently, company executives have noted that they’re getting FWA customers from suburban and even urban areas.
In today’s announcement T-Mobile said nearly 4 million Texans have either no access to traditional home broadband or have only one choice. Consequently, much of the state is ripe for a new competitor.
In the middle of the pandemic, the Texas Education Agency estimated that 1.8 million students couldn’t participate in virtual learning because they didn’t have a broadband connection at home.
In a statement today Texas State Representative Trent Ashby said, “It’s unacceptable how few choices my constituents in rural Texas have for reliable high-speed internet, but T-Mobile’s continued investment to bridge the digital divide is a huge win that will increase competition and help drive more affordable options for Texans.”
FWA home offerings expand
By December 2021 T-Mobile had surpassed its year-end goal of reaching 500,000 FWA subscribers.
And at the end of the third quarter 2021, Verizon disclosed that it had a total of 150,000 FWA customers. Its 4G and 5G FWA passes about 15 million homes.
“We forecast that Verizon and T-Mobile will add 1.8 million wireless home broadband customers in 2022, more than doubling the 750,000 added in 2021,” wrote the analysts from LightShed Partners, earlier this month.
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