T-Mobile’s home broadband offering has been a bright spot for the company of late, recently reaching 1 million customers while growing its availability to 40 million households. Focusing on what it calls “internet freedom,” the nation’s second-largest wireless provider touted a host of new initiatives on Wednesday, pulling a few plays from its wireless playbook as the company looks to grow its share of the home broadband market.
As part of its pitch to consumers, the company announced that it will offer 15-day free trials for its home internet product to let users compare T-Mobile’s service to their current provider without having to fully switch over. If customers do want to switch providers, T-Mobile says it will pay up to $500 to help cover the cost of early termination fees from contracts.
The carrier has been offering a similar “test drive” program for years to those interested in its wireless service and has long offered the option to pay off owed installment plans or contracts to customers switching from other wireless carriers.
Further pulling from its old un-carrier plays, the company announced that it would be “locking” in the prices on home internet users at $50 per month (with automatic payments) for as long as you keep the carrier.
Price hikes after an introductory offer are “one of the biggest pain points for broadband customers,” Mike Katz, T-Mobile’s chief marketing officer, tells CNET. “We’re ending that with price lock… The price that you sign up for, it’s that price, period, for as long as you’re a customer.”
Those who have T-Mobile’s premium Magenta Max phone plan will be able to bundle and save an extra $20 per month on Home Internet, dropping the price from $50 per month to $30 per month.
Rival Verizon offers a similar deal with its home internet offering. However, Verizon drops the price to $25 per month for home internet and allows bundling accounts with any of its three top Unlimited plans. T-Mobile also requires that all lines on a family plan be the same, so if you have a plan with four lines and want to add Home Internet, you would need all phone lines to have Magenta Max (a total price of $200 per month when including home internet).
Verizon (and AT&T) allow for mixing up different unlimited plans depending on your individual line needs. In the case of home broadband, Verizon could be cheaper compared to T-Mobile as one line on its higher-tier Play More/Do More plan, three lines of its cheapest 5G Start plan and 5G home broadband would be $175 (though Verizon plans do not include taxes or fees in the sticker price).
Lastly, T-Mobile says it is expanding its T-Mobile Tuesdays program to fully include those who have home internet. As part of the push, the carrier is also introducing two new deals aimed at the home. Those who have T-Mobile Home Internet and any of its wireless plans will be able to save $50 on streaming devices such as a Roku, Chromecast with Google TV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV or game consoles like an Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo Switch.
The carrier isn’t selling these devices directly, with users instead heading to the carrier’s promotions website to request a rebate.
Those with T-Mobile Magenta Max and Home Internet will also be able to get 50% off of YouTube TV for a year, which the company touts as a savings of nearly $400.
A play for business
In addition to the deals for consumers, T-Mobile also announced a new push to lure businesses onto its broadband offering. Expanding beyond its regular home internet footprint, the carrier is adding two new tiered plans for companies looking to switch to its service: a $50 per month option with 100GB of high-speed data and a $70 per month option for 300GB of high-speed data.
Companies with stores or offices inside the 40 million household area where T-Mobile offers its consumer Home Internet will be able to sign up for unlimited data. If you go over the data bucket your speeds will slow dramatically to 600kbps for the rest of your billing month, or you can buy more high-speed data at $2 per every additional gigabyte.
The company says its price lock option will apply to businesses, and that it is working with Cradlepoint on a router designed for offices.
“We know businesses use a lot less data than our consumers,” says Callie Field, president of T-Mobile’s business group. The company notes that it found that “most small and remote offices” average between 80 and 140GB of data per month.
Field says that expanding to areas that aren’t yet optimized for its unlimited home internet offering will allow it to become a nationwide provider for businesses that have locations in a variety of areas, simplifying those companies’ needs for multiple internet providers. She notes that T-Mobile is looking at offering a similar tiered option for consumers in these areas, but that it is starting this process with businesses first.
“This is something we wanted to do special for businesses to really solve this pain point.”
T-Mobile says that the new deals will be available starting Tuesday, May 10.
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