I Ditched My 5G Home Internet to Go Back to Spectrum. Here’s Why

There has been a lot of talk about 5G over the past six years, and it still is today. Driverless cars, remote surgery, the metaverse — all buzzwords that haven’t appeared in any real way yet.

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Any area where he has really helped change our lives? The cable companies are finally getting some long-delayed competition for home broadband. I’ve explored whether 5G and similar technologies (known as “virtual wireless”) can replace home broadband over the past year, testing mid-range solutions from Verizon and T -Mobile, with millimeter-wave options such as True Networks. .

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I ditched my Spectrum subscription and switched my apartment to Honest, which provides fast delivery and pickup to our apartment for $50 a month. It’s been good for months and I’m happy to continue using it.

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At least, until Spectrum came knocking.

The competition comes with a price

Description of Spectrum's three-month free trial

Spectrum’s three-month free trial was very compelling.

Photo by Eli Blumenthal/CNET

Since the Spectrum release I have received a notice in the mail offering three months of free TV and internet if I go back. No contracts or bonds were attached. It looks like the company is hoping to get people to sign up, and it won’t be happening any time soon.

As a sports fan, traditional cable appeals to the rest of the NFL and college football season, MLB postseason and the start of the NBA and NHL programs. Getting and streaming local sports networks in New York can be a hassle, and the only streaming service that offers them all (DirecTV Stream) costs $90 a month for the Options package.

While my internet speeds won’t be as fast as the gigabit promised by Honest, Spectrum’s Internet Ultra offers download speeds of “up to 500Mbps” which is more than enough for all my work with my roommates, video chats , streaming and gaming.

Plus, even after three months, the internet bill will be $40 per month, a $10 per month savings on T-Mobile and Honest.

I can’t say that this is a fair result for 5G internet options that include competition and added competition. I don’t know yet if Spectrum is offering it everywhere or in certain markets like New York City, but it seems to be newer.

“We have national pricing and customer-friendly policies such as no modem fees, data caps or contracts,” a Spectrum spokesperson said in a statement. “We often offer promotions to new or renewing customers to give them the opportunity to sample a service or package at a discount, for a limited time, before the offer expires. pay regularly.”

These prices are not always for new subscribers. The old trick of calling your provider and threatening to switch to T-Mobile or Verizon, I saw helping a friend with their Optimum bill in New Jersey, helped reduce their bill by $40 a month before fixing anything on their service.

It seems the cable companies are worried, and perhaps rightly so. Verizon saw earnings customers run its traditional wireless phone business in higher prices, but the carrier added 234,000 “real wireless” users.

T-Phone added 578,000 home internet users in its most recent quarter and now has over 2.1 million subscribers.

Comcast, the largest cable operator in the US, appears to be concerned that earlier this month it will begin running TV ads on T-Mobile’s Home Internet, encouraging users to go to his website there “customize” the two general options. Several cable companies — including Comcast, Optimum and Spectrum — have also offered home internet bundles as well their own mobile services.

“I think you’re going to see (cable companies) get more aggressive with promotions and try to throttle speeds to try to throttle the speed of phone calls,” said Bob O’Donnell. , Technical Research Associate.

“Given the rapid growth of (home internet) subscribers for T-Mobile and Verizon, consumers will be very aware and willing to move away from cable companies,” he said.

Faster speeds are coming

A bundle of fiber optic cables on a black background

Getty Images

In addition to price and costs, the rise of 5G home broadband is poised to update cable companies at a rapid pace. Comcast’s main advantage over T-Mobile is that its gigabit offerings are more available and can be up to 36 times faster than T-Mobile’s 5G internet.

“Wireless on 5G is essential for cable companies to upgrade their infrastructure to be able to deliver faster speeds, especially for deployments where wireless can be difficult today,” said said Avi Greengart, an analyst at research firm Techsponential.

Several other carriers including Optimum, Spectrum, Verizon and AT&T have added new multigigabit speed tiers and ramped up their builds for fiber service, though all three wireless carriers continue to build and improving 5G service. This push for faster options should be given in hopes of better speed for those looking for a boost but better options for their needs.

“People who still work at home or want a faster way will look at fiber,” says O’Donnell. “Mainstream users and people with limited options (landscapes, etc.) have a lot of options and can get something they need.”

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