T-Mobile US is experimenting with fiber broadband by launching a symmetrical gigabit fiber service in New York City. The service is offered for a fixed monthly fee, but the prices have not yet been announced.
This service, which offers 940Mbps upload and download rates as well as a WiFi 6 router, is now being tested in selected Manhattan apartment buildings. The company is undertaking a very restricted trial with a third-party supplier to offer residential internet using fiber-optic lines from that partner rather than deploying its own lines. T-Mobile did not reveal the identity of its local partner.
The decision to collaborate with a local broadband provider is consistent with T-Mobile’s well-known practice of leasing rather than constructing fiber for its cell sites. Because T-Mobile is not installing new fiber connections but rather utilizing those that are already in place, initial expenses are kept low, and T-Mobile is able to assess whether a fiber-optic service is a network architecture worth pursuing further.
The fiber service is a novel twist, but it is unclear how widely T-Mobile intends to implement this, and it is unlikely that the trial program will be expanded to other locations very soon.The fiber service is being advertised in conjunction with T-5G Mobile’s wireless home internet, but we have yet to learn about the prices for subscribers.
If T-Mobile does indeed decide to establish its own fiber service, this may help it to compete more effectively in the broadband market against competitors such as AT&T and Verizon, both of which are extending their fiber footprints, as well as challenge traditional cable companies like Comcast.