T-Mobile will validate home addresses for 5G Home Internet plans

T Mobile logo on smartphone (1)

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority


  • T-Mobile recently launched new 5G Internet plans, one of which was focused on travelers who use the 5G gateway device at different locations.
  • However, users could theoretically use cheaper plans and still move the 5G gateway to other locations.
  • T-Mobile could fix this loophole by tracking the 5G gateway to ensure its use only at validated locations.

T-Mobile recently announced two new 5G internet plans, “Home Internet Plus” and “Away.” The Home Internet Plus plan is for households that need whole-home Wi-Fi, and it uses T-Mobile’s 5G gateway and a Wi-Fi Mesh Access Point for $70/month with AutoPay. The Away plan is for travelers and also uses T-Mobile’s 5G gateway, but it starts at $160/month with AutoPay for the unlimited plan. However, since both plans use T-Mobile’s 5G gateway, there’s nothing actually stopping Home Internet Plus users from just taking their router along with them.

Both 5G internet plans use T-Mobile’s “mobile” network, so you could theoretically pay for the cheaper Home Internet Plus plan and still carry your 5G gateway (modem and router device) beyond your home address. That would defeat the entire point of the Away plan, for which T-Mobile is charging a premium.

As The Mobile Report notes, citing internal documents, T-Mobile doesn’t want you to do that. The carrier plans to track where your gateway is to make sure you’re only using it at specific addresses. The report notes that all T-Mobile 5G gateways have an integrated GPS, but it has remained dormant and inactivated so far. This will now be activated to track where the gateway is for billing purposes.

The company says in the internal documents that the reason behind this is that the Home Internet plan is “designed to be used at specific addresses in places with enough network capacity to ensure all our customers have good network experiences.”

If you want to use the gateway beyond your validated address, T-Mobile will require you to change the address on your account or move the gateway back to the validated address. If the address you want to use isn’t eligible for the plan, then your only option is to switch to the expensive Away plan.

So, if you used a friend or relative’s address to sign up for Home Internet and used it at a different location where the plan was unavailable, then T-Mobile has closed down your loophole.

T-Mobile will begin notifying users on May 8, 2024. Customer service representatives will be able to see users’ addresses, and internal tools will display a flag for those using their gateway outside of it.

We’ve reached out to T-Mobile for a statement. We’ll update this article if and when they respond.

What are your thoughts on this enforcement move from T-Mobile? Let us know in the comments below!

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