X
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. How we test ISPs

5G Fixed Wireless Starting to Soar in the US, Says T-Mobile Study

trey-paul
trey-paul
Trey Paul Senior Editor
Trey Paul is a CNET senior editor covering broadband. His 20+ years of experience as a writer and editor include time at CNET's sister site, Allconnect, and working with clients like Yahoo!, Google, The New York Times and Choice Hotels. An avid movie fan, Trey's career also includes being a film and TV critic while pursuing a degree in New York.
Expertise Home internet and broadband, including plans, providers, internet speeds and connection types. Movies and film studies. Credentials
  • Master's degree in Cinema Studies from NYU and interviews with Conan O'Brien, Stan Lee and some of his biggest Star Trek childhood idols
Trey Paul
2 min read
T-Mobile's magenta logo on a phone with a blue background
James Martin/CNET

What's happening

T-Mobile describes how fixed wireless access -- specifically its 5G home internet -- is disrupting the broadband market.

Why it matters

ISPs are perpetually among the industries that US consumers complain about most. Increased competition and more options mean better choices for you.

T-Mobile released a new study on Wednesday that touts the progress of its T-Mobile Home Internet with consumers but also speaks to the greater impact of 5G fixed wireless (including competitor Verizon 5G Home Internet) on getting more people connected across the US.

Leaning on its proprietary data and info from OpenVault and Leichtman Research, T-Mobile said that its home internet service has already garnered more than 2 million customers. In the last year, 78% of the 3.28 million US broadband net adds belong to T-Mobile and Verizon.

It's not shocking that customers would flock to newer options. We noted over the summer that when the American Customer Satisfaction Index released its 2022 report on ISPs, the industry had dropped to dead last among all US fields, with ISPs falling beneath even gas stations and social media.

Locating local internet providers

Poor customer satisfaction is a big driver for T-Mobile's aggressive courting of customers. One of its taglines is "Take a bite out of Big Internet." But T-Mobile also asked its customers for specific reasons why they switched to 5G internet. Over 58% listed a lower price as the main driver, while 41% liked that there's no annual contract obligation. Perhaps most interestingly, over a third of its customers said that simply having a new option available was a key driver in their decision to switch.

Pie chart showing percentage of where fixed wireless customers previously got their internet service

T-Mobile's study shows that 51% of its more than 2 million Home Internet customers are ditching cable internet providers.

T-Mobile

All this comes less than a month after Consumer Reports released a year-long broadband costs study. The conclusion was that more competition is necessary to give US consumers adequate choices and options for internet access. Now, the arrival of this T-Mobile study essentially drills the point home.

Locating local internet providers

"Fixed wireless is disrupting a historically broken broadband industry, offering choice and competition at a time when consumers need it most," Mike Katz, chief marketing officer at T-Mobile, said in a statement.

T-Mobile's report also highlights the expectation that 5G fixed wireless consumption will continue to expand, with T-Mobile and Verizon expected to garner between 11 million to 13 million customers by 2025.