T-Mobile makes 5G just $15 a month. Maybe.

By

T-Mobile 5G service
T-Mobile 5G hits the airwaves next month, for way less that most people probably expected.
Photo: T-Mobile

When the 5G iPhone launches next year, it’ll be able to connect to the T-Mobile 5G network for as little as $15 a month. That’s half what the carrier currently charges for 4G service.

Dropping prices seems to part of T-Mobile working to convince skeptics that its merger with Sprint will be a big win for consumers. And that’s the ringer here: its new ultra-low cost plan is available only if the merger goes through.

Taking on its bigger rivals

“We have definitively put a stake in the ground around the kind of company the supercharged Un-carrier will be and the ways we can put this radically better 5G network to work doing GOOD for this country — good for consumers, good for competition and good for innovation!” said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile.

Rather than charging extra for 5G, this telecom will combine it with 4G service and lower the cost. Those who want more than 2GB of data a month can opt for a 5GB plan for $25 a month. And T-Mobile promises to increase the monthly capacity of both by 500MB every year for five years. No matter the capacity, these plans will come with unlimited talk and text.

Again, these plans will only become available if T-Mobile and Spring are allowed to combine into what’ll be called the New T-Mobile.

How Verizon and AT&T will respond is not yet known. Verizon is currently charging extra for its 5G service. Right now, AT&T only offers 5G to business customers, but it doesn’t charge extra. It’s not known whether that will change when consumer 5G service begins.

T-Mobile 5G network launches in December

This telecom will debut 5G on December 6. And rather than in a few scattered areas, the service will be available to “more than 200 million Americans and more than 5,000 cities and towns across the country including millions in rural America,” according to a statement from T-Mobile.

At launch, the faster service will only be accessible through two Android handsets: one from Samsung and the other from OnePlus. More are expected in the coming months, including almost certainly the 2020 iPhone.

Future growth depends on T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint. The Department of Justice signed off, and so did the FCC, but it’s currently being held up by a lawsuit from several state’s Attorneys General. They think less competition will result in higher prices for wireless service, and today’s announcement seems aimed at allaying their concerns.

Source: T-Mobile