Deutsche Telekom said it is offering the Speedport Smart 4 router in combination with an outdoor 5G antenna free of charge to help customers boost their home internet speeds. The operator is offering a test of its new hybrid system to 800 interested customers until next August.
Customers can take part in the test if they subscribe to a fixed-network product with a MagentaZuhause rate plan and have 5G reception at their address. The Speedport Smart 4 is available for €5.95 (US $6.74) per month on the Smart home network package or else at a one-off price of €169.99 (US $192.51).
The German operator said tests show the 5G outdoor antennas can achieve 400 Mbps to 450 Mbps in download and 50 Mbps in upload. The Speedport 4 is its new flagship router with the Wi-Fi 6 standard.
Wireless routers have traditionally been a less-than-ideal solution for circumstances in which cable internet access was not available. However, with the expansion and improvement of 4G/LTE networks and especially the advent of 5G, they have become more competitive with fixed line connections.
In this case, DT’s home router is 5G-enabled and is said to provide very high download speeds and moderately high upload speeds. These attributes could be quite appealing to some customers who have sophisticated data consumption requirements but do not have good cable access or do not want it. With a monthly charge of €5.95, the Speedport Smart 4 seems like a good value for what it may provide.
Nonetheless, the operator is offering it free of charge to 800 customers. Apparently this offer is a marketing strategy on the part of DT, and while 800 is a vanishingly small number in terms of customer base, those customers could function essentially as walking advertisements for DT’s 5G router service. They would be well-disposed toward it to begin with, of course, because it is free to them, but beyond that, by using the service in their homes they would end up being test cases for the service and, if they are satisfied, would spread the word to family, friends and contacts.
If there are enough customers who are not being reached effectively by cable but are in range of strong 5G signals, then the Speedport Smart 4 can be a successful product and can help DT compete in the fixed line market