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Update Three 5g Home Review
Those expensive bands may be coming to your cell phone, but the rollout of 5G home networks is still a work in progress.
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Trey Paul is the senior editor covering broadband. Her 20+ years of experience as a writer and editor includes time at sister site Allconnect and working with clients such as Yahoo!, Google, The New York Times and Choice Hotels. An avid film fan, Trey’s career also includes working as a film critic while earning a master’s degree in film studies from NYU.
It’s been a few years since 5G started rolling out, but I have to admit. sometimes it still confuses me. One of the questions I get asked a lot is, “My local says I can’t get their 5G home internet service, even though I can get 5G on my phone when I’m at home. Why is that?’
I ran into this myself when I switched carriers this year. I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile and was immediately impressed with my phone’s 5G performance. But even though I had T-Mobile 5G cell service at home, my address didn’t match the home network service. My immediate reaction. What gives?
It’s not just T-Mobile. The same goes for Verizon. Its 5G home network product is also not available at all addresses covered by the company’s own 5G coverage map. Even if you have Verizon Ultra Wideband service in your area, you are not guaranteed to be able to sign up for Verizon 5G Home Internet.
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Yes! T-Mobile and Verizon are using cellular channels to offer special 5G home internet plans. Each service provider’s plan includes simple, comprehensive pricing that cuts out equipment fees, data limits, time contracts, and other extras often associated with ISPs.
T-Mobile Home Internet has one plan for $50 per month ($30 for Magenta Max eligible customers). Verizon offers two plans: Verizon 5G Home ($50 per month) and Verizon 5G Home Plus ($70 per month). Eligible Verizon Unlimited cell phone plans can also save 50% off any plan price. Simplicity and a simple approach seem to be key for both companies.
I was tempted to think that getting into the ISP game was just a fluke for these companies, but Jeff Moore, CEO of Wave7 Research, sees more.
“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] services to businesses, it’s also saying it’s increasingly pushing into rural America.” I don’t think this is just a PR stunt.”
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Some early numbers support Moore’s assessment. In mid-April, T-Mobile proudly announced that it had reached 1 million customers within just one year of the product’s nationwide launch. T-Mobile Home Internet is available to more than 40 million homes, and a third of those homes are in rural areas and small towns, according to T-Mobile.
Overall, T-Mobile has been pretty aggressive in its approach to customers. In May, it launched its Internet Freedom campaign, which taps into Americans’ dissatisfaction with Internet providers and encourages consumers to “unplug from the great Internet” by trying T-Mobile Home Internet. To entice customers, it offers a free, 15-day test drive (so you can test without changing your current provider), a price lock guarantee (you pay $50 a month as long as you’re a customer, with no price left for a year growing fear, as is the case with most ISPs), and an additional $20 per month in savings on eligible Magenta Max cell phone plans.
Verizon has also been ambitious with its offering, but with less of an “ISPs are evil” sound. That’s probably because Verizon Fios, the company’s fiber-optic Internet service, is an ISP and one of the few that gets consistently high ratings. In their case, the 5G home network seems to be less of a push against the “Big Internet” and more of a play to expand Verizon’s home network game out of the Northeast (Verizon’s Fios playground) and into the rest of the country.
If T-Mobile and Verizon are serious about home internet, why isn’t it as widely available as their mainstream 5G coverage yet?
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When my colleague Eli Blumenthal tested the Verizon 5G Home, he reported that his iPhone’s 5G connection was better than his 5G Home hub number.
So far, we’ve noticed that Verizon 5G is faster, at least for raw speed, when connected directly to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The 5G home hub connection seems consistently slower, maybe it’s prioritized. pic.twitter.com/7nkebDoeW2 — Eli Blumenthal (@eliblumenthal) April 26, 2022
A Verizon spokesperson told me in an email that it designed its network with its mobile customers in mind. “We continue to allocate spectrum to ensure our mobile customers have the reliability they have come to expect from Verizon,” they said. “As we transmit more spectrum beyond what our models show, we need the highest reliability for our mobile customers, we can also offer 5G home services.”
5G allows for a higher connection density of approximately 1 million devices per square kilometer than previous generations of mobile communications. Is it a lot? Yes, it’s about 100 times better than 4G, but not infinitely. Because home network products use a lot of cellular network capacity, Moore believes T-Mobile has also been smart about how it sells home networks.
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He pointed me to a recent YouTube interview with Kendra Lord, director of geographic engineering and analytics at T-Mobile, in which she compared 5G home internet access to the number of seats on an airplane.
“It’s not just the number of homes we think can get [T-Mobile Home Internet],” he said, “but how many in a given segment we can say yes to.”
When I reached out to T-Mobile for more insight, a spokesperson confirmed this thought. “There are still many households that are not yet eligible for the home network, even though they can get 5G on their mobile, and that’s on purpose,” they told me in an email.
Capacity on our wireless network. In some areas we have increased network capacity and in others we do not. So we allocate Internet access home by sector, house by house.”
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In other words, it’s entirely possible that I could get 5G cell service in my home, and my next-door neighbor could even have T-Mobile Home Internet. However, my email address is still not usable for home internet products due to bandwidth limitations of mobile coverage in my area.
So the next time you ask, “Why can’t I get 5G home network even though I have 5G on my phone at home?” I advise you to stand firm. both operators are actively working to optimize their networks for mobile first and home second, in a dynamic process that changes from month to month. Interest rates on mortgages rise before elections What’s next Inflation Holiday coffee cups RSV? Sandwich Day Tips Explained for Sleep Blood Pressure Tablets Reminder
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor with a special focus on covering the latest news from the ever-changing worlds of telecommunications, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter for USA Today.
Verizon’s 5G Home Internet service is ready to take on your local cable provider with a bold promise: fast broadband with no data cap for under $25 a month. To get that price, you must have a recent premium Verizon Unlimited plan, such as the Play More, Do More, or Get More options. A Wi-Fi 6 router is included with the service, and taxes and equipment fees are included in the sticker price.
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The big question with any ISP. Is the actual service good? As Verizon continues to upgrade its network to support the faster Ultra Wideband C-band spectrum, I wanted to find out. So I ditched Spectrum and changed my residential connection to use Verizon’s 5G home router only.
Outcome? Even though I’ve only had it running for a few days it works great. Games, streaming, and zoom generally work as expected, but there are a few things you need to know if you’re considering switching.
Before we get too deep into the implementation, we should start clarifying a few things about this service.
Although Verizon has been heavily promoting 5G Home on TV, it’s not really as accessible as the company’s 4G LTE network or its latest 5G Ultra Wideband offering, which reaches more than 100 million people. Verizon says 5G home network is available to 30 million people, but as with T-Mobile’s 5G home network option, there’s no clear map to determine if you’re eligible. In stead,
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