T-Mobile is selling prepaid 5G FWA at Metro stores

T-Mobile will sell its 5G Home fixed wireless access (FWA) service to prepaid customers at its 7,000 Metro by T-Mobile stores nationwide. The company said that the service will be available to anyone with an eligible address for $55 per month or $50 per month with autopay and the one-time purchase of a gateway for $99.

Jon Freier, president of T-Mobile’s Consumer Group, said the company wants to make broadband more accessible to more people and that’s why it’s making 5G Home available to prepaid customers in addition to postpaid customers.

T-Mobile has an aggressive goal of getting 7 million to 8 million FWA customers by 2025. It ended 2021 with 646,000 home internet customers, which was significantly higher than its goal of 500,000 customers by year-end, but it still has a long road ahead to hit that 2025 goal.

T-Mobile’s 5G Home broadband gateway can be self-installed. The company claims that subscribers can get the gateway set up in less than 15 minutes, and they just need to download an app to help navigate the process. In addition, the company says it has a dedicated 5G Home support team that customers can call if they have any issues. 

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert told investors on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call in February that average FWA customers are using about 300 to 400 gigs per month with some users consuming more than 1 TB.T-Mobile does throttle speeds of its Home Internet product if it is experiencing congestion. The company’s service is available to more than 30 million homes and in 600 cities nationwide.

Verizon, which also offers a 5G FWA home broadband service is also considering offering a prepaid version of it. Verizon CFO Matt Ellis recently mentioned the possibility when speaking to investors during a Morgan Stanley conference. The company just completed its nearly $7 billion acquisition of prepaid heavyweight TracFone, which boosted it into the No. 1 position in prepaid for the first time.

Analysts have speculated that it’s a natural move for T-Mobile and Verizon to offer prepaid home broadband products. Jeff Moore, principal with Wave7 Research recently wrote about the growth potential of selling the FWA products at Walmart along with prepaid mobile services. Moore noted that Charter’s Spectrum Internet service sells its broadband services at some Walmart stores.