September 30, 2022

T-Mobile has announced that 5G home internet is now available in more cities, covering parts of Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa and Kansas. The service now covers more than 40 million homes, and earlier this spring, the company said it had registered a millionth customer registration. This is good news for our cable ISP monopolies, but T-Mobile has some real work to do if it plans to meet its target of 7 to 8 million customers by 2025.

Providing fixed wireless internet to a large part of the nation was a big selling point in T-Mobile’s case to the FCC when it argued to be allowed to acquire Sprint. The gist of the whole deal was that we would lose one of our four wireless carriers Temporarily While T-Mobile has absorbed Sprint and Dish Network has acquired 5G service from the ground. At the same time, we’ll get a home internet service provider, where T-Mobile will use some of Sprint’s spectrum to offer fixed wireless internet. How are you? Not great!

Dish wireless service doesn’t look terribly promising in its early stages. And while T-Mobile appears to be aggressively expanding its home internet offering, signing up for another 6 million customers in the space of two and a half years started looking pretty ambitious when it took a year to reach the first million.

A key part of T-Mobile’s presentation to the FCC was its ability to deliver high-speed internet to underserved rural areas. The company says a third of its 40-plus million homes (about 13 million) are in rural America, and some of the cities included in today’s announcement seem to fit the bill. Other locations that are no doubt less rural now covered include Denver, Colorado, Des Moines, Iowa, and St. Louis, Missouri. If T-Mobile is still targeting up to 8 million customers in a few years, it will need subscribers from all over the country – rural and otherwise.

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