With the T-Mobile and Sprint merger still on the verge of being approved (or not approved), the former needs all the goodwill from the US government and regulators that it can get. One way would be offering products to the underserved areas and that is what they’re doing exactly with the pilot program of their Home Internet service. They are aiming to bring the wireless-only LTE service to rural areas that are “poorly served” by the usual wireline broadband services available.
While they didn’t say exactly where these markets are, they did say it’s the “rural and underserved” markets that will be able to get a first taste of this service. They will be sending invitations to eligible customers and by the end of this year, they are looking at around 50,000 sign-ups to the program. They will have to pay $50/month with AutoPay but there will be no annual contract at least for this pilot test.
The wireless router will be shipped to the customers and it will come with a SIM that is of course pre-registered to the network already. There will also be an app that will guide you through the installation process and also give you tips on where’s the best place to place your router. It will supposedly give customers up to 50 Mbps of downloads and without any data caps (eventually they probably will though).
If the Sprint merger goes through, T-Mobile says they will upgrade the router to 5G and will have mesh networking as well. However, they did not indicate if the pricing will still be the same if it eventually becomes 5G. For now, if you’re a T-Mobile customer, you’ll just have to wait if you’ll receive an email saying you’ll be part of the pilot program.