Perhaps the most-startling new argument T-Mobile US is making in support of its merger with Sprint is the ability to use the 5G network to provide the equivalent of fixed network internet access without using fixed wireless, relying solely on the mobile network to reach about half of all U.S. homes. That would be the next couple of steps in mobile substitution that began with voice, and might now start to cannibalize fixed network internet access and also video subscriptions.
The “broadband in a box” solution that New T-Mobile does not appear to require use of an exterior antenna of any sort, the company says in a new filing with the Federal Communications Commission.
“New T-Mobile will simply ship a box to the customer’s home for the customer to self install,” says T-Mobile US.
That claim also suggests the network supporting the offer will not be “fixed wireless” but the mobile network itself, a use case that has become a reality in the 4G era for lighter users. But T-Mobile US seems to suggest the 5G mobile network will be a platform for full competition with fixed internet access services, generally.
By 2024, T-Mobile expects to cover about half of U.S. homes with the in-home Internet service, relying on the mobile network, not fixed wireless, providing average download speed in excess of 100 Mbps or higher (with a minimum speed of 25/3 Mbps), the company says.
“New T-Mobile will use this low cost structure to aggressively capture share by pricing its service at (redacted) per month below what in-home broadband providers typically charge today,” making the story “lower prices for fixed network internet access.”
Also, T-Mobile US plans to launch a video entertainment service that will compete with fixed network video subscriptions.
“Layer3 will provide a supercharged content distribution platform providing packages with more than 275 HD channels, a growing selection of 4K video, and in-home digital video recording to homes across the country,” the company says.