Thoughts on Fixed Wireless Home Internet

There are two types of AT&T Fiber (FTTN and FTTP). FTTN (fiber to the node) still relies on old-school twisted pair copper for last-mile connectivity. FTTP (fiber to the premises) brings fiber to one’s door similar to Fios. Alas, my neighborhood has FTTN, which limits speeds. Those speeds are adequate but hardly spectacular.

Based on what folks have been kind enough to contribute here and my own research, it would seem T-Mobile’s fixed wireless access is worth checking out. Like @Clint, I’ve discovered Verizon’s fixed wireless access is not yet available to me. T-Mobile’s fixed wireless access is but I must wait for “limited availability” to open up. :disappointed:

@henry51 said:
My repurposed Home Extend adapter (with a Callcentric number) is working fine with my T-Mobile 5G Home Internet. I haven’t had any issues with it in the 2-1/2 months I’ve had TMO HI. I actually want to thank you for bringing Calcentric to my attention in the RW Community forum.

You’re most welcome. I’ll return the thank you because yours is the first confirmation I’ve seen of 3rd party VoIP working with T-Mobile’s fixed wireless acess.

@rolandh said:
Based on what folks have been kind enough to contribute here and my own research, it would seem T-Mobile’s fixed wireless access is worth checking out. Like @Clint, I’ve discovered Verizon’s fixed wireless access is not yet available to me. T-Mobile’s fixed wireless access is but I must wait for “limited availability” to open up. :disappointed:

Online discussions by TMHI users have reported being able to open accounts when the address checker reports “Not available.” Some have used another address, others report having cooperation from counter people at T-Mobile brick and mortar shops to get around that. There do not seem to be any actual geographic restrictions on using the TMHI Gateway, campers and truckers report using them wherever they roam. Some mentioned last year that TMHI Terms of Service were revised to permit use at locations other than the assigned address.

I believe there is still a no-cost trial period when signing on to unlimited TMHI. Hope it works as well for you as for us, @rolandh!

P.S. - Before the recent additions of TMHI and AT&T Fiber to my home location the only “competition” monopoly cable carrier Buckeye Broadband had was AT&T through the old imperfectly maintained phone 2-wire system. Their sales people insisted it was “fiber,” probably because it was FTTN, with speed potential to 25 Mbps.

I signed up for T-Mobile internet today. $50 a month with automatic payments which starting in April will have to come from checking or debit card. Otherwise it’s$55. Xfinity also has the same payment type. There is a 13 day trial period and if ordered online they will give you a $200 virtual credit card available in 8-12 weeks. My equipment should arrive on Wednesday 3/22 via UPS. Of course none of this has happened yet other than me going through the process to sign up and order which was done through a phone call after me supplying all the necessary information online.

@Clint said:

P.S. - Before the recent additions of TMHI and AT&T Fiber to my home location the only “competition” monopoly cable carrier Buckeye Broadband had was AT&T through the old imperfectly maintained phone 2-wire system. Their sales people insisted it was “fiber,” probably because it was FTTN, with speed potential to 25 Mbps.

I am not in a Verizon fixed wireless internet service area, but thank goodness for TMHI, because i was in the same boat, only having a cable internet carrier (Spectrum) and AT&T’s “Internet 25” (for $55/mo.) as choices for home internet. For a while, AT&T offered “u-verse” with faster speeds, but gave up on it. My neighbor had it installed and the installers were there for half a day getting everything hooked up.

Received the T-Mobile 5G gateway yesterday. Working great with great signal to all devices on two levels of main floor and finished basement. Did a speed check this morning using ookla and the xfinity speed test.

Update on my T-MOBILE home internet. After more than 3 months of use I am very happy. Customer service has been great. I received the virtual $200 credit card and was able to deposit it directly to my checking account.
There was an offer for $10 off per month for YouTube tv which I use. When trying to get this offer, the customer service agent and I discovered the promotion had ended the day before. They were going to credit my T-Mobile HI about $10 a month but after it didn’t get applied the second month, CustomerService just gave me a $110 account credit. So altogether over 6 months free service.
The first issue I’ve found involved my YouTube tv service. The regular YouTube tv service allows 3 streams at once including at home and out of home. Because of a promotion YouTube tv had for 4k service with a free month and then $4.99 instead of $9.99 a month for one year, I added this service because it also included streaming on unlimited devices on the home internet network plus 3 streaming devices away from the home network. It would not work for me and YouTube tv could not figure it out although it was turned over to their engineers and I haven’t heard from them with the promised update since. With the help of customer forums, I believe the issue has been solved. Seeing posts that others had the same type issue with other streaming services when using Tmobile HI because of the cell signal and where it was being reported to be coming from (usually a different state) the streaming service was not able to recognize a home internet network. The solution was to connect my Netgear router to the T-Mobile HI gateway. There are two ethernet connections on the back of the gateway. Using one of the Netgear networks to connect my streaming devices I am now able to stream YouTube tv on unlimited devices on my home network (tested with 6 devices) while my family was able to stream on 3 devices away from my home at the same time. I actually keep the 3 televisions with roku connected to the Netgear network and our mobile devices connected to one of the T-Mobile HI networks. Would connect any devices wanting to stream YouTube tv at my house to the same Netgear network. It would be very rare that we are watching more than 1 or 2 televisions at the same time, but before if we turned on the second tv and 2 other family members were watching outside the home all would get disconnected.

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Bumping this topic; today I finally decided to follow-up on T-Mobile’s FWA offering only to be told my address no longer currently qualifies (something about limits on capacity).

I am, however, eligible for T-Mobile’s business FWA offering at the same address. :thinking: The consumer and business offerings seem identical (price is the same) with the exception of the business offering providing a static IP address (not a requirement but nice to have).

The consumer sales agent I was speaking with was kind enough to place me on hold while he got someone from the business side on the phone. Alas, the business folks are off for the holiday.

So, I guess, I’ll try calling a business agent directly after the holiday to see what they have to say. Happy New Year! :confetti_ball:

Edited to Add:

I realized after posting this I could just go ahead and attempt sign-up online. Everything processed without a hiccup so, I’m now a T-Mobile Business Internet subscriber with zero out of pocket expense today. There was a credit check involved. Monthly expense is $50 postpaid with a 30-day return window should things not work out.

Signing up for business service does require a business name. I do operate a small (micro really) business, so that wasn’t an obstacle. No proof of business existence was required. Therefore, one could make up a business name. When signing up as a sole proprietor, the credit check is done using one’s SSN (a business tax ID is likewise not required).

My experiment with T-Mobile for Business’ fixed wireless access is over for the following reasons:

  1. Weak signal
  2. 100 GB Data Cap
  3. The gateway provided is locked down

The best I was able to do in terms of signal is 3 bars, which according to T-Mobile is “good”. Mostly, I saw 2 bars, weak according to T-Mobile. T-Mobile signal is robust in my neighborhood. I stuck the gateway on an extension cord, walked out the door and immediately got 4 bars (very good). Unfortunately, prevailing building construction in south Florida (rebar reinforced concrete block, wire mesh and stucco) makes for an excellent Faraday cage. In this market, FWA (fixed wireless access) providers could use a device designed to be mounted on a building’s exterior with Ethernet running indoors. In fairness, even with weak signal, network speed was better than that provided by AT&T (my incumbent wireless provider) though nowhere near what would be expected from 5G. Latency, however, was significantly higher, so overall performance was a wash.

T-Mobile Home 5G Internet is genuinely unlimited for $50/month. T-Mobile for Business 5G Internet is genuinely unlimited only in certain areas. In my area, $50 is capped at 100 GB. $70 would bump the cap to 300 GB. As a point of comparison, my cap with AT&T is 1.5 TB (1500 GB).

The gateway provided to me was locked down tightly. There was no way to bridge it and without being able to do so, I would have needed to significantly reconfigure my internal mesh network.

So; I cancelled the T-Mobile service during my 15-day guarantee period and sent the gateway back. T-Mobile provided the return shipping label. There was no out-of pocket expense for the experiment.

Neither AT&T or Verizon serve my address with their FWA products. My other option would be Xfinity, who I dumped 10 years ago in favor of AT&T’s then new Uverse service.

I regret doing so but decided to give Xfinity another chance. I ordered their self-install kit, which in my case, ended up being a padded envelope with a coaxial cable as I decided to purchase my own cable modem rather than rent Comcast’s xFi gateway. I had no need for Comcast’s gateway. A cable modem connected to my existing mesh WiFi network via Ethernet would have been more than sufficient.

Self-activating Comcast service is supposed to be as simple as using their app, however, self-activation using the app failed and so too did support’s attempts to remotely activate. I was kindly offered the option to have a technician come out for the low low price of $100. I declined the offer and cancelled the service. In all likelihood, all that needed to be done was for the existing Comcast wall jack to be turned on. If I were confident Comcast would be able to provide stable service, I’d have paid the $100 but the reason I left Comcast previously was their inability to provide stable service. It’s possible that’s changed in 10-years but Comcast was not willing to guarantee the $100 in the event things hadn’t changed.

So; that left me with my incumbent provider AT&T. AT&T has provided me stable service for 10 years. What AT&T hasn’t done in 10 years is improve performance. 10-years ago I opted for 24 Mbps download speeds (more than decent then not so great now). AT&T’s current max speed in my area is 25 Mbps download The 1 Mbps increase is probably because anything less than 25 Mbps download doesn’t meet the FCC’s current definition of broadband.

Still, I wasn’t willing to continue paying $88/month for 24 Mbps. A conversation with “loyalty” got me “upgraded” to 25 Mbps with a promotional rate of $56/month for one-year.

I remain on the lookout for a better option. If family circumstances permitted, I would move.


Sorry to hear of your frustrations with getting broadband to your home, @rolandh .

I have been using T-Mobile Home Internet (TMHI) “Unlimited” quite happily for over two years, VERY satisfying to dump the local cable broadband monopoly at that time, which was in most ways worse than Comcast/Xfinity (not even available in my current neighborhood, thanks largely to the political power of that monopoly cable company). I have never seen better than three bars on the TMHI gateway (their first, the Nokia “trashcan”) but speeds have been completely adequate for our needs (250 down, 50 up).

Some irregularities when first hooked up via TMHI but great improvements about six months later when T-Mobile upgraded service on my nearby tower which is less than a half mile away. Completely solid since then.

Just wanted to share a couple morsels gleaned watching TMHI online discussions.

  1. Many have reported that local T-Mobile brick-and-mortar sales people were able to get around the website “not available at your address” obstacle. Might involve playing loose with the address (seems to be no actual geographic enforcement to using, despite TOS wording).

  2. Some geographic areas seem to restrict “unlimited” TMHI accounts, offering a data-capped version instead. Without very clear notice, disappointing some users. Need to be aware and watching.

  3. Online instructions for adding external antennas to TMHI gateways abound, and at least a couple antenna suppliers are marketing to TMHI users.

  4. Multiple users have shown how they built their own enclosures to place gateways outside, on poles, etc. in lieu of adding external antennas.

  5. One of the latest TMHI gateways is equipped with external connectors for antennas. Although obtaining a particular gateway version seems to require luck and/or conspiracy with T-Mobile reps.

  6. Multiple reports of people employing their own configurable “gateways” with the TMHI SIM card to have greater control than the supplied gateways afford.

Since we got hooked up with TMHI not only AT&T but also that local cable broadband provider have put fiber through our neighborhood, including through our yard. So now I have the option to try out their fiber service for about $5 per month more than the $50 per from TMHI. But TMHI is serving fine for the moment.

So perhaps there is hope for TMHI improving your situation, with somewhat less hassle and cost than moving.


Hi @Clint,

Thanks for the encouragement and the insight regarding your experience with T-Mobile Home Internet!

Lack of robust broadband options isn’t my only reason for considering a move in the future. Among other things, the cost of insurance (all kinds but particularly property insurance) is increasingly an issue in Florida.

As measly as it sounds, 25 Mbps is adequate for most things one does on the Internet. For example, it’s adequate enough for 4K streaming, so long as more than one person in the household isn’t attempting to stream 4K content simultaneously. For less demanding video content, 25 Mbps is more than adequate.

My dissatisfaction with AT&T as an incumbent provider has more to do with their failure to improve their offerings in the 10 years I’ve been their customer. And; that they were charging me $88/month made me feel like I wasn’t getting enough value for my money. The reduced charge of $56 albeit only for a year helps the value proposition somewhat.

More to the point, it buys some time to see whether AT&T (or one of the fixed wireless providers) ultimately provides a better value. Comcast, for me, I think is a hopelessly lost cause.

Looks like the price for T-Mobile Home Internet, if one is not otherwise a T-Mobile subscriber, has increased from $50/month to $60/month.

Screenshot 2024-01-18 at 3.29.18 PM

For those who already have T-Mobile Home Internet, is T-Mobile honoring the original $50/month price or is it going up?

I have not been notified of any change, but was promised $50 bill for life, whatever that might mean. My account has the below information in the billing details.


Is there some difference we cannot see from your screenshot between the $50 and $60 plans? No doubt, T-Mobile would be thrilled for folks to voluntarily “upgrade” to a higher price but why would they do so?


Yes, as far as I can tell T-Mobile will continue to honor the promise of $50 per month (taxes and fees included) “for life” to those (like me) who signed up before the recent TMHI price bump. It seems that T-Mobile has often permitted mobile phone customers to hold onto good deal plans as long as they keep their accounts active - at least in the past.

There’s a new prepaid option for home fixed access wireless Internet. Total by Verizon (a former Tracfone brand) is offering prepaid FWA. It’s not an option for me (not available in my area yet).