If the cable industry wasn’t already feeling the pressure of a slowing business, T-Mobile US Inc. is adding to their worries by sweetening its wireless home internet offer, dangling as much as $500 to new customers who want to pay off their contracts with other providers.
The second-largest U.S. wireless carrier is also offering to bundle its wireless home internet service with its high-end mobile phone plan for a combined $200 a month for a four-member account.
“High-speed broadband service is still a monopoly in this country,” T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer Mike Sievert said during a presentation to investors Wednesday.
The discounts come the same week that AT&T Inc. broke ranks with other wireless providers and raised prices on older mobile plans by $6 a month. After spending more than $100 billion on their 5G networks, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. are in a race to find payback from that investment.
T-Mobile is using 5G signals to beam internet connections directly into homes, a relatively new service that has chipped away at traditional landline broadband market share and the potential expansion areas cable and phone companies have mapped out.
Last week, both Charter Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., the two largest U.S. cable companies, posted first quarter broadband subscriber gains that were roughly half the growth of a year ago.
The friction rubs in both directions. Charter and Comcast together added nearly 700,000 new wireless phone customers in the first three months of the year, cutting into a business the telecom companies dominate.