I have 5G on my home phone, so why can’t I get 5G home internet? – News 24

It’s been a few years since 5G started to unfold, but I must admit that at the dawn of 2023, it still baffles me at times. One of the questions I get asked a lot is, “My provider says I can’t get their 5G home internet service – even though when I’m at home I can get 5G on my phone . Why not ?”

I ran into this myself when I switched carriers in 2022. I went from AT&T to T-Mobile and I was immediately impressed with my phone’s 5G performance. But even though I got T-Mobile 5G cell service at home, my address was not eligible for its Home Internet Service. My immediate reaction: Whaaaat?

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It’s not just T-Mobile. The same applies to Verizon, too. Its 5G home internet product is also not categorically available to all addresses covered by the company’s own 5G coverage map. Even if you have Verizon Ultra-wide band service in your area, it is not certain that you can register Verizon 5G Home Internet.

Did you say T-Mobile and Verizon offer 5G home internet?

Yes. T-Mobile and Verizon use cellular airwaves to offer dedicated 5G home internet packages. Each provider’s plan offers simple, all-inclusive pricing that removes equipment fees, data caps, fixed-term agreements, and other additional hassles often associated with internet service providers.

T-Mobile Home Internet offers a $50 per month plan ($30 for eligible Magenta Max customers). Verizon offers two plans: Verizon 5G Home ($50 per month) and Verizon 5G Home Plus ($70 per month). Qualifying Verizon mobile plans can also reduce the price of either plan by 50%. Simplicity and a straightforward approach seem to be key for both companies.

At this time, AT&T does not offer a 5G home internet plan.

Is domestic broadband only a secondary activity for these operators?

I was tempted to think that getting into the ISP game was just a joke for these companies, but telecommunications insider Jeff Moore, head of Wave7 Research, sees more in play.

“Mobility is T-Mobile’s core business, and for the most part, it’s Verizon’s core business,” Moore said. “But T-Mobile, in particular, is telling Wall Street that in addition to selling [home internet] business services, he also says he is pushing more and more toward rural America. I don’t think it’s just a publicity stunt.”

T Mobile 5G Wi-Fi Gateway

T-Mobile includes its gateway device in the monthly fee.


Some of the early numbers support Moore’s assessment. In mid-April, T-Mobile proudly announced that it had reached 1 million customers just one year after the national launch of the product. As 2023 dawns, T-Mobile Home Internet now has over 2 million customers and is available to over 40 million homes. According to T-Mobile, a third of those homes are in rural communities and small towns.

Overall, T-Mobile has been quite aggressive in its pitch to customers. In May, he started his internet freedom pushing, leaning in American dissatisfaction with ISPs and encourages consumers to “break away from the Big Internet” by trying T-Mobile Home Internet. To attract customers, it offers a 15-day free test drive (so you can try it out without having to switch current providers), a price lock guarantee (you pay $50 per month as long as you remain a customer, without lingering fears of price increases after a year, as is the case with many ISPs), and additional savings of $20 per month with eligible Magenta Max mobile plans.

Verizon has also been ambitious with its offerings but sounds less like an “ISPs are bad” note. It’s probably because Verizon Fios — the company’s fiber optic internet service — is an ISP and one of the few to consistently get high ratings. In their case, 5G home internet seems less of a blow to “Big Internet” and more of a game to expand Verizon’s home internet game beyond the Northeast (Verizon Fios’ playground) and into the rest of the country.

If T-Mobile and Verizon are serious about home internet, why isn’t it still as widely available as their overall 5G coverage?

When my colleague Eli Blumenthal tested Verizon 5G Homehe noted that the 5G connection on his iPhone was better than that of his 5G Home hub.

I think he’s onto something.

A Verizon spokesperson told me via email that they designed their network with their mobile customers in mind. “We continue to allocate spectrum to ensure our mobile customers have the reliability they expect from Verizon,” they said. “As we deploy more spectrum – beyond what our models show we need for the greatest reliability for our mobile customers – we are also able to offer 5G Home service.”

Verizon 5G Home Gateway router on orange background

Verizon also includes its 5G gateway in your monthly fee.

Sarah Tew/CNET

5G enables greater connection density — approximately 1 million devices per square kilometer — than previous generations of cellular connectivity. Is it a lot? Yes, it is 100 times better than 4G, but it is not unlimited. Because a home internet product uses a lot of capacity on a mobile network, Moore thinks T-Mobile has also been smart about how it sells home internet.

He told me a recent YouTube interview given by Kendra Lord, Director of Geospatial Engineering and Analytics at T-Mobile, where she compared 5G home internet availability to the number of seats on an airplane.

“It’s not just the number of households that we think we can get [T-Mobile Home Internet]she said, “but by how much in a given sector could we say yes. »

When I contacted T-Mobile for more information, a spokesperson corroborated this mindset. “There are still many households that are not yet eligible for home internet, even though they can get 5G on their mobile device – and that’s intentional,” they told me over email. .

“Our Fixed Wireless Home Internet operates on the More capacity on our wireless network. In some areas we have extra capacity on the network, but in others we don’t. We therefore allocate residential Internet access on a sector-by-sector, household-by-household basis. »

In other words, it’s entirely possible that I could get 5G cell service in my house, and my next door neighbor might even have T-Mobile Home Internet. However, my address may still not be usable for this home internet product due to cellular coverage capacity limits in my area.

So the next time you ask, “Why can’t I get 5G internet at home even though I have 5G on my home phone?” I advise you to hang in there – both carriers are actively working on optimizing their networks for mobile first and home internet second, in a dynamic process that changes from month to month. 2023 could be your year to try 5G for your home broadband connection.

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I have 5G on my home phone, so why can’t I get 5G home internet? – News 24

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