T-Mobile is reportedly contemplating constructing a multibillion-dollar fiber community that it could use to present home internet service, according to Bloomberg. While the corporate began testing fiber internet final yr, its primary home-focused providing connects with 5G as a substitute of different wired infrastructure like DSL or cable.
Bloomberg reviews that the service has been working with Citigroup to discover monetary companions for a possible $4 billion three way partnership or “commercial partnership.” It looks as if early days for the plan, and it’s attainable nothing will come of it, however it nonetheless appears like a big step for the wi-fi service, which has historically used and managed a really completely different form of infrastructure.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile’s present home and enterprise internet choices (a minimum of those which can be extensively accessible) rely on its 5G and LTE networks. While that does permit it to roll out protection extra simply than if it had to lay fiber within the floor, there are limitations; poor service can lead to a bad user experience, and a fiber community will virtually definitely outperform a mobile one. For T-Mobile, it’d be good to be ready to supply each choices in some areas: a comparatively cheap mobile choice for folks with comparatively gentle internet wants and a fiber providing for energy customers and individuals who require rock-solid service.
T-Mobile didn’t instantly reply to The Verge’s request for remark on its seek for companions to construct a fiber community and about what number of customers are presently on its fiber home internet pilot. When we wrote about that service in August final yr, T-Mobile had solely made it accessible in elements of New York City and was utilizing an area fiber supplier’s infrastructure as a substitute of its personal. According to Bloomberg, the service has additionally been looking into different partnerships the place it might make an analogous association.
While T-Mobile may be looking to spend big on fiber, it appears probably that its primary home internet providing will nonetheless be its fixed-wireless service. As Google has shown, constructing out a fiber community in only a few dozen areas can be an costly and time-consuming operation, one fraught with potential pushback from established players. Earlier this yr, T-Mobile announced that one million folks had signed up for its 5G home internet service and that it was able to offering it to over 40 million households.