While the T-Mobile and Sprint merger hasn’t been officially completed just yet, with the FCC having recently given the deal its final approval, T-Mobile is already talking about what it will do with its newfound resources, and the plan includes an announcement of the company’s cheapest phone plan ever.
Starting at just $15 a month, the new T-Mobile Connect plan offers unlimited talk and text plus 2GB of 4G or 5G data. Now admittedly, 2GB of data per month isn’t all that much, but considering the T-Mobile’s current least expensive plans start at $30 a month (and that’s including a discount for having four lines), T-Mobile Connect could provide some much-needed savings for low-income families—at least temporarily while it gathers all the goodwill it can muster in the merger process.
Additionally, T-Mobile also teased two other new programs with its Connecting Heroes Initiative, which promises to give unlimited talk, text and 5G access to every first responder in the U.S. for the next 10 years. This includes public and non-profit fire, police, and EMS personnel.
Then there’s T-Mobile’s Project 10 Million, which promises to handout 10 million hotspots to students across the country that will provide up to 100GB of free mobile data per year. With Project 10 Million, T-Mobile is hoping to give children and students greater access to broadband internet in order to make completing homework just a bit easier.
While it’s still unclear what the signup process will look like, T-Mobile did say that the 10 million hotspots will be divvied up by state based on population, with priority going to low-income families with school-aged children and limited access to the internet.
However, the big caveat to this is that all three plans are contingent on the T-Mobile Sprint merger being completed, something the New T-Mobile may use as leverage to convince individual states like New York and California to drop lawsuits seeking to block the deal.
Also, next month T-Mobile says it will turn on its nationwide 5G network on December 6th, which promises to bring 5G coverage to over 200 million Americans in more than 5,000 cities. That said, this 5G network won’t have the combined resources of both T-Mobile and Sprint until sometime in 2020 when T-Mobile can integrate its mmWave and sub-6GHz spectrum with Sprint’s mid-brand spectrum.
Looking even further ahead, T-Mobile claims its new 5G network will offer 14 times more capacity than it could on its own, and that the combined T-Mobile/Sprint network will cover 85 percent of the rural U.S. within three years, and 90 percent coverage after six years.
But for right now, T-Mobile and Sprint need to finalize the deal before any of this happens, and from there, it will be a waiting game to see how this big merger will ultimately affect competition and the price of wireless plans as a whole.