T-Mobile has announced that its 5G home internet service is now available in more cities across 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 signed up its millionth customer. That’s good news in our landscape of cable internet provider monopolies, but T-Mobile still has some work to do if it plans to hit its target of 7 to 8 million customers by 2025.
Offering wired wireless internet to much of the country was a key selling point in T-Mobile’s case to the FCC when it argued it could take over Sprint. The gist of the whole deal was that we would lose one of our four wireless carriers temporary while T-Mobile took up Sprint and Dish Network got its 5G service off the ground. At the same time, we would get a home Internet provider, as T-Mobile would use some of Sprint’s spectrum to provide wired wireless Internet. How does that work? Not good!
Dish’s wireless service doesn’t look very promising in its early stages. And while T-Mobile appears to be aggressively expanding its home internet offering, getting another 6 million customers in two and a half years is starting to look quite ambitious when it took a year to reach the first million.
An important part of T-Mobile’s pitch to the FCC was the ability to offer high-speed internet to underserved rural areas. The company says a third of the more than 40 million homes it covers (ie about 13 million) are located in rural America, and some of the cities mentioned in today’s announcement seem to fit the bill. Other decidedly less rural locations now covered include Denver, Colorado, Des Moines, Iowa, and St. Louis, Missouri. If T-Mobile is still aiming for 8 million customers in a few years, it will need subscribers from all parts of the country, both in rural areas and beyond.