T-Mobile offers FWA backup for cable, fiber internet outages

  • T-Mobile unveiled Home Internet Backup
  • It’s designed for cable and fiber internet customers looking for a backup solution to stay connected at home
  • When the primary connection goes down, customers can switch over to the T-Mobile Wi-Fi signal

T-Mobile is riding the fixed wireless access (FWA) 5G wave like nobody’s business.

The company introduced Home Internet Backup, which provides a 5G backup internet connection for people on traditional ISP plans – like cable and fiber – an alternative if their service goes down.

Citing data from CivicScience, T-Mobile said nearly 20% of U.S. internet users say their internet goes out at least a few times a month. That’s a hassle, to say the least, so T-Mobile is coming to the rescue.

The Home Internet Backup sells for $30 a month with autopay, and customers with an eligible T-Mobile voice line can pick it up for $20 a month for a limited time.

It comes with 130 GB of 5G data per month, which should be enough to keep a typical household connected with Wi-Fi for up to seven days per month when their primary internet service goes down, according to T-Mobile.

For a lot of people, using a mobile phone as a hotspot when the primary internet connection goes down is probably sufficient. But for those who want peace of mind or a more robust solution, T-Mobile’s Home Internet Backup promises broader coverage. It comes with a 5G gateway and the self-install set-up process is said to be 15 minutes or less.

Different take

It’s a different take on targeting customers for T-Mobile’s FWA service, said Bill Ho, lead analyst at 556 Ventures. If customers buy into the back-up notion, they’re in essence test driving it against their current ISP provider.

The best hope for T-Mobile is the experience exceeds that of the customer’s current ISP. Alternatively, those that want a legitimate backup likely will be price insensitive to accepting an offering like this, he said. 

“All in all, it’s another way to drive fixed wireless access subscribers,” Ho said.

It’s also taking another shot at cable providers, which have been T-Mobile’s primary target since it launched its FWA service. T-Mobile boasts that it’s the fastest growing home internet provider in the U.S., already serving 5 million customers nationwide. Its target is to serve 7 million to 8 million FWA customers by the end of 2025.

The Home Internet Backup offer will be available in T-Mobile stores and online starting today, Thursday, June 6.