T-Mobile Fiber is now offering services in three new markets: two in Colorado and one in Florida. The company is expanding its fiber reach through 'open access' fiber providers like Intrepid Networks and Tillman FiberCo.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies

March 26, 2024

4 Min Read
Internet cable and yellow ethernet connector in close up against a colorful background
(Source: Ian Rutherford/Alamy Stock Photo)

T-Mobile is expanding its fiber offerings into three new markets: two in Colorado and one in Florida.

The expansion brings T-Mobile Fiber into a total of 16 markets across eight US states.

So far though, T-Mobile is sticking with its existing fiber partners for the three new markets.

In the Colorado markets of Louisville/Lafayette and Westminster/Federal Heights, T-Mobile said it will offer T-Mobile Fiber-branded connections through fiber network operator Intrepid Networks. T-Mobile initially began working with Intrepid – backed by global investment giant Brookfield Infrastructure Partners – in Colorado last year.

Intrepid is building fiber connections in a total of ten markets across Colorado and Minnesota. So far, T-Mobile is piggybacking on all but one of them (Minnetonka, Minnesota).

And in the Suncoast region of Florida, T-Mobile said it will work with Tillman FiberCo. The Suncoast region includes cities like Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. T-Mobile began working with Tillman last year in Pinellas County, Florida.

Tillman FiberCo doesn't list any markets on its website, but it has received licenses to operate as a telecom provider in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Texas. The company is backed by $500 million from Northleaf Capital Partners. It's part of Tillman Global Holdings, which was founded by telecom industry veteran Sanjiv Ahuja.

Like other T-Mobile fiber partners including SiFi Networks, both Tillman and Intrepid tout an "open access" model, whereby they operate the network but make money by selling wholesale access to other companies that then serve end users.

T-Mobile officials declined to provide any further details on the company's fiber ambitions, including the operator's financial agreements with its fiber network partners.

The context and the details

On its T-Mobile Fiber website, the operator offers three tiers of fiber service, starting at 500 Mbit/s connections for $55 per month and ranging up to 2 Gbit/s services for $110 per month, alongside a Wi-Fi 6 router. However, T-Mobile Fiber does not appear to be offering any discounts or bundles that combine its fiber services with its nationwide mobile offerings.

The expansion of T-Mobile's fiber footprint comes at an important time. T-Mobile is in talks to invest up to $1 billion into a joint venture with regional US fiber network operator Lumos Networks, according to German publication Handelsblatt.

However, Lumos does not promote itself as an open access fiber operator. Instead, the company – backed by Swedish investment firm EQT – provides Lumos-branded fiber services to around 250,000 homes and businesses across its North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina footprint. The company hopes to grow that footprint to 1 million homes in the next five years.

Regardless, T-Mobile executives have been clear about their interest in fiber. "We're really pleased with how those are going," Mike Katz, T-Mobile's president of marketing, strategy and products, said at a recent investor event, in response to a question about T-Mobile's fiber efforts. He described them as a "capital light" way for T-Mobile to play in the fiber industry.

"If we did something in fiber, it would be in a more capital-light structure, probably in a partnership with somebody else. But that, I would say, is looking more and more likely that we would do something there," Katz added.

As T-Mobile expands its fiber footprint, it's also expanding the reach of its fixed wireless access (FWA) service. T-Mobile's FWA offering – dubbed T-Mobile Home Internet – uses the operator's 5G mobile network to wirelessly beam a stationary Internet signal into customers' homes or offices.

As noted by The Mobile Report, T-Mobile recently began selling an Internet backup service to business users for $15 per month.

T-Mobile isn't alone in chasing business users with its FWA service. AT&T this week announced that its new Internet Air FWA service is available nationwide for business customers.

About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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