In October T-Mobile expanded on a pilot project by opening up an LTE-backed fixed wireless access home internet service to some 20 million households. This week CEO Mike Sievert provided more color on the carrier’s FWA strategy and how the company’s television service, TVision, fits into T-Mo’s larger 5G strategy.
The home internet service costs $50 per month with autopay and uses an LTE Wi-Fi Gateway device. With the expansion, 450 towns and cities are covered with availability on a first-come, first-served, equipment- and capacity-availability basis. TVision uses an HDMI plug-in device and has three primary iterations: TVision Live TV offers 30-plus channels, including sports and news, for $40 per month; TVision Live TV+ adds 10 more channels, including regional sports, for $50 per month; and TVision Live Zone adds in 10 more channels, including pro sports networks, for $60 per month. There are also additional packages available.
Speaking this week at Citi’s TMT West Conference, Sievert said TVision isn’t a massive cost or profit center but rather part of the FWA amibitons. “Now we’re getting after broadband and it’s important to have a great TV offer because people often make that decision at the same time.”
He said the combo of 5G-based home broadband and a seamless TV experience is “terrific. That’s why we did TVision. It’s gonna evolve and get better over time.”
The “servictization” of enterprise networks
T-Mobile both before and after it’s merger with Sprint has focused the vast majority of its 5G marketing efforts on the consumer market. But, in response to a question from Citi’s Michael Rollins, Sievert did discuss enterprise-facing 5G.
He characterized 5G as “a potential superior solution and it’s playing right into the trends enterprises have been chasing for years.” With as-a-service-type offerings seeing long-term increased adoption by enterprise players, Sievert said enterprise decision makers are considering, “Should I be building my own corporate networks based on legacy Wi-Fi technology or should I be building a network based on more secure, dedicated spectrum, higher capacity and superior propagation of 5G technology?”
For T-Mobile, Sievert said it comes down to whether the company can serve this up at a better value and in a manner simple enough to appeal to enterprise. “The idea of a company being able to outsource this on dedicated spectrum with reliable throughput and capacity to us, that’s a great opportunity and it comes just at a time when we’re hitting our pace at having these corner office relationships with enterprises. We’ll have to see how it unfolds.”