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T-Mobile pitches to businesses with new Enterprise Unlimited, Home Office Internet offers

The second-largest carrier is also offering new collaboration apps.

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Angela Lang/CNET

A week after introducing a new Magenta Max consumer plan with truly unlimited 4G and 5G data, T-Mobile is revamping its pitch to businesses. On Thursday the country's second-largest carrier introduced new offers, part of what it calls T-Mobile WFX, that it hopes will help lure companies and government contracts away from rivals AT&T and Verizon regardless of whether employees are traveling or stuck at home. 

The first is perhaps the most traditional. Called Enterprise Unlimited, the carrier is offering businesses a new unlimited 5G plan that's designed to replace any pooled or shared data plans companies get from other carriers. There isn't even a set price for the new offer with Mike Katz, executive vice president of T-Mobile for business, telling CNET that his company will "match or beat" the rates companies are paying his competition. 

"What we'll do is we'll work with an enterprise, we'll see what they're paying for their pooled and shared plans, and we'll match or beat that rate with that T-Mobile unlimited 5G plan," Katz says. 

There are no requirements for a minimum amount of lines and the plan will also come with 10GB of high-speed hotspot data. One hour of GoGo in-flight Wi-Fi (per flight) is also included, as is 5GB of high-speed data when traveling in Canada and Mexico and international texting and data in over 210 countries, though data speeds will be at much slower, 2G speeds (128 kbps). 

Although it allows unlimited data in the US, if you use over 50GB of data in a month you could be slowed during a time of congestion. Katz says that only happens in "unique circumstances" when someone who is over that data level is in a congested area at a busy time. 

If you want truly unlimited data with no worries of your phone's data slowing down can upgrade a line to the Max version for an additional fee. The carrier is also offering a new suite of business-focused tools that can be bundled with Enterprise Unlimited. It calls this bundle T-Mobile Collaborate. 

The suite, part of a team-up with a company called Dialpad, allows for replacing a traditional business phone system as well as HD video and voice conferencing. Dialpad's software can also integrate with existing services including G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce and Slack.   

The Enterprise Unlimited offer will be available starting March 5 to small, medium and large businesses as well as government agencies and first responders, though for the latter the carrier still is pushing its Connecting Heroes program that offers free service for first responders. Those looking for the bundle of wireless service with the T-Mobile Collaborate tools will be able to get it starting on March 22 for $37 per line. 

A play for the home office

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T-Mobile's Home Internet gateway serves as modem and router, though you can also plug in an existing router or mesh network.

Rick Broida/CNET

In addition to the new wireless plan, with the pandemic's work-from-home effects likely to hang around T-Mobile is making a move to try and become an internet alternative for companies whose employees are now stuck at home. 

Called T-Mobile Home Office Internet, the carrier is officially entering the world of home broadband with a $90 a month, for each user service that connects to its 4G and 5G networks. Unlike some traditional internet providers, Katz says there are no data caps or thresholds where internet speeds would be slowed.

The goal, however, is not to replace an employee's regular home internet that is shared with their families but to provide a dedicated internet connection to ensure better connectivity without having to compete for bandwidth with other household members Zooming, gaming or streaming. The consumer home internet offering remains in the works and Katz says a family could have both services together. 

To keep the focus on work, T-Mobile will have content filtering on the service enabled by default that will block sites for gaming, gambling, porn and even Netflix because this service is "designed for work." Companies who want to whitelist certain websites and applications -- or block others -- will be able to work with T-Mobile to do so. 

With its consumer home internet pilot, T-Mobile pitches download speeds of at least 25 Mbps. While Katz wouldn't give a target speed for the Home Office Internet, he says that the carrier will be working with companies to make sure their employees would be able to get strong T-Mobile service that is capable of handling tasks such as video calls before it provides the router. 

If the employee's home address doesn't get a strong enough signal, it won't supply the service. 

The router will be preconfigured by T-Mobile for easier employee installation through an app on your phone. Available on March 22, Katz says the company will be available to 60 million households across the continental US and Hawaii to start, with the plan to expand that number "throughout the year" as it continues to build out its 5G networks.