T-Mobile launched its 5G home internet service around this time last year with the promise of a low $50 monthly rate, easy setup, and data speeds at least as good as traditional broadband internet. In reality, it’s kind of a mixed bag. This year, it’s hoping to tempt more people away from traditional internet providers with some new offers, starting with a 15-day trial period for the service. Customers who cancel within 15 days of starting the service will get a refund as long as they return the provided internet gateway.
The company is also offering to cover early termination fees if you leave your current internet provider for T-Mobile — up to $500 by way of a prepaid Mastercard. Home internet subscribers are also now included in the company’s T-Mobile Tuesdays promotions, and T-Mobile says it’s locking in the current $50-per-month cost for current home internet plans for as long as they maintain the account. It’s also offering a better price — just $30 per month — if you’re on a Magenta Max family plan, similar to Verizon’s Fios Double Play deal.
To take advantage of any of this, you’ll need to check whether your address is even approved by T-Mobile for home internet. The company says that 40 million addresses currently are, and it determines which homes are good candidates based on sector-by-sector analysis of available capacity. In theory, this ensures more reliable service, but, even so, one of its weak points in our testing last year was spotty performance.
T-Mobile’s CEO Mike Sievert sort of sidestepped a question about this on a Q&A panel after the announcement, saying that the company is “approving services only in places where we know we can support the demands of customers” and reiterating that additional spectrum will become available in the near future. In the meantime, at least there’s an easy out if your service isn’t all it was cracked up to be.