Building a nationwide 5G network that would be leaps and bounds better than the individual networks they can deploy on their own is a major reason why T-Mobile and Sprint think regulators should greenlight their proposed merger, while the services they can deliver on that network aren't too fall behind.
A big selling point for the deal is the creation of an in-home broadband service that can run on 5G and spawn a low-cost alternative to what's offered today by cable operators and other wireline-based broadband ISPs.
T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) spent a few thousands words outlining that initiative in a response to those opposing the deal that was filed earlier this week with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) . (See T-Mobile, Sprint Vow Deal Will Spur Competition, Sharpen Nation's 5G Edge .)
To put a big number on how their resulting 5G network would bring a new wave of competition to in-home broadband, Sprint and T-Mobile cite an analysis from Dr. Harold Furchtgott-Roth, an economics professor and former FCC commissioner, holding that the merger could produce annual consumer savings of as much as $13.65 billion a year by 2024.
Sprint and T-Mobile also hold that their combination will bring broadband options to rural areas where fast Internet service and competition are lacking. They cite FCC data showing that 48% of US homes lack any competitive choice for in-home broadband exceeding 25 Mbit/s.
On that note, T-Mobile and Sprint vow to open 600-plus retail stores and to launch five new customer service locations tailored to serve small towns and rural communities.
And they feel that the resulting service will resonate, forecasting that they will be able to snap up 1.9 million customers for in-home wireless broadband by 2021, and 9.5 million by 2024.
They also plan to offer in-home wireless broadband service without service contracts and usage caps, a policy move that could cause other ISPs to follow suit.
With respect to speed and coverage, Sprint and T-Mobile expect the new in-home offering to deliver an average of 100 Mbit/s to areas spanning 292 million people by 2024. By that time, they likewise anticipate covering areas serving more than 250 million people with data rates of 300 Mbit/s or more, and about 200 million people with speeds of at least 500 Mbit/s.
"These speeds and coverage areas will be offered at a significant discount to the prices of traditional broadband providers, with monthly prices planned to be generally lower than traditional services," they claimed.
They didn't outline the pricing they have in mind, but bars are already being set.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s initial fixed broadband 5G service in a handful of markets will kick things off October 1 with a service that starts at $50 per month for 300 Mbit/s in the downstream when customers have a wireless smartphone data plan on their accounts, or $70 per month if they don't have a data plan on their accounts. (See Verizon to Launch Fixed 5G Service on Oct. 1 and 5G Fixin' to Become 'Largest Existential Threat' to Broadband Providers – Analysts.)
Meanwhile, Starry Inc. , a startup that is using millimeter wave spectrum and focusing on the multiple-dwelling unit market, has been selling an uncapped, symmetrical 200 Mbit/s service for $50 per month in a growing number of markets (See Starry Sets NYC Launch, Aligns With Real Estate Developer .)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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