Consumers have gravitated towards 5G home internet because of the simple installation and the low price. T-Mobile may tweak the latter in 2024.
T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert suggested as much during his fireside chat at the UBS investor conference on Tuesday.
“You might see us experiment with rate vs. volume dynamics over this next year,” Sievert said. “We want to make sure we add the most possible value to the business.”
Decoding the business jargon, T-Mobile “experimenting” with the rate indicates a potential higher price. The “volume dynamics” means the number of customers willing to sign up for the service. He knows a more expensive plan may dampen some enthusiasm for the service, but with the company adding roughly half a million new 5G home internet subscribers per quarter, it’s something he can live with.
The comments underscore the momentum T-Mobile has enjoyed with 5G home internet. While it wasn’t the first company to offer so-called fixed wireless broadband (that would be Verizon), it’s quickly surged into the leadership position over the last year. In the third quarter, it added 557,000 new 5G home internet customers, edging out Verizon’s 384,000 and well ahead of any cable broadband players by a wide margin.
T-Mobile’s in such a leading position that it’s willing to experiment with the pricing next year. That’s largely because the company sees this as a potentially capped business. It previously projected that 5G home internet service could accommodate as many as 8 million homes, since it uses excess capacity from its cellular network. It expects to hit that goal by 2025, but its current rapid pace means it’s actually ahead of schedule.
Sievert didn’t go into any detail about a price increase, and the company may not even follow through with his suggestion.
But he added that turnover for the service is falling, and its net promoter scores, which tally how willing a person is to recommend the service, are higher than cable, and in some cases, higher than fiber.
“It’s a product that’s surprised people,” he said.
So it’s no wonder Sievert is thinking about raising the price.