T-Mobile has announced an expansion of its Home Internet pilot to 450 more areas, which it says covers 20 million households. The service uses T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, and was launched as an, with the carrier saying it’s now opening the service to non-T-Mobile customers.
, with a $0 hardware lease and no data caps.
“We’re understanding this massive expansion … at a time when our connection to the Internet is so vital — for work, remote school, connection with family and friends,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert.
You can see a list of the new cities and towns online, but it’s now live in certain areas of 27 states.
Read more: The best internet providers for 2020: How to choose cable vs. DSL vs. satellite and more
No contract, $50 per month high-speed Internet access is rolling out to vast swaths of the country, including rural America, for both T-Mobile and non-T-Mobile customers alike
What’s the news: T-Mobile is throwing a lifeline to many communities being abandoned by AT&T. It’s expanding its $50 / month, no two-year contract Home Internet service into more than 450 cities and towns that AT&T is deserting. The Un-carrier is also opening the service to non-T-Mobile customers in these new areas.
Why it matters: Many parts of the country have extremely limited, slow Internet options and the pandemic has increased our reliance on Internet connectivity. AT&T dropping DSL service in those communities makes an already difficult situation that much worse.
Who it’s for: 20 million households in thousands of locations that are sick-and-tired of their Internet access provider jerking them around.
What AT&T takes away, T-Mobile brings back. Following news that AT&T is discontinuing DSL home broadband in many communities, T-Mobile is massively expanding its Home Internet pilot service to give another option to an additional 20 million households in parts of 450 cities and towns — many in rural America — being abandoned by AT&T in the middle of a pandemic when connectivity has never been more important. With this move, the Un-carrier is also expanding its Home Internet pilot to non-T-Mobile customers in these areas.
T-Mobile has been piloting Home Internet on its LTE network, as the Un-carrier prepares to launch 5G Home Internet across the country. And it’s clear the service is badly needed. 61 percent of rural households have no choice when it comes to high speed home broadband.
“We can’t stand idly by while AT&T leaves potentially millions with fewer home Internet options at a time when our connection to the Internet is so vital — for
Delivering truly next-generation network speeds has been a challenge for U.S. cellular carriers, as their low, mid, and high band wireless towers have thus far required seriously awkward speed and distance compromises. Today, T-Mobile said it has successfully tested the next piece of its 5G strategy: Carrier Aggregation (CA) technology that will dedicate 2.5GHz mid band spectrum to downloads and 600MHz low band spectrum to uploads, simultaneously improving T-Mobile’s 5G speeds and reach across the United States.
In prior cellular generations, downloads and uploads generally shared a single radio frequency, equivalent to wired phone calls that put talking and listening through the same cable. Using carrier aggregation, T-Mobile is enabling a single phone to have separate inbound and outbound radio connections, spanning two radio frequencies that have been synchronized to seamlessly provide service together. This will let T-Mobile’s mid band towers handle outbound traffic at their best speed while slower but longer-reaching 600MHz low band towers take care of uploads, which don’t typically need to be as fast as downloads.
T-Mobile’s announcement has broader importance for businesses and end users, particularly in the United States, as it offers a clear path to widespread adoption of 5G cellular technology. Rival carriers Verizon and AT&T initially launched 5G exclusively using high band millimeter wave hardware that was extremely fast but barely covered individual city blocks, precluding large-scale rollouts. T-Mobile initially responded with a nationwide low band 600MHz 5G network that was roughly as slow as 4G in some places but faster in others. The carrier then augmented its service in some locations with a 2.5GHz mid band layer capable of much greater speeds. Combining those two layers in this fashion gives the carrier — and its rivals — a roadmap for effectively using existing “sub-6GHz” radio spectrum to deliver 5G service across