T-Mobile Moves Forward with Free Service for First Responders for 10 Years
Thursday, May 21, 2020 | Comments

As promised before its merger with Sprint was finalized, T-Mobile launched its Connecting Heroes plan, a 10-year commitment to provide free service and 5G access to first responder agencies. The offer is valid for all public and non-profit state and local fire, police and EMS departments, the carrier said.

Connecting Heroes provides free unlimited talk, text and smartphone data with the “highest network priority.”

The carrier first announced the public-safety plan in December, saying it would be available after its merger with Sprint was finalized. The merger was completed April 1.

First responder agencies face trade-offs between buying life-saving equipment including personal protective equipment (PPE) or funding important wireless communications, and the initiative will save first responders up to $7 billion, said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert.

“We’re not limiting this program to a few months or a year … first responders can get free service including 5G access, for a full decade,” Sievert said.

“Access to critical communications is vitally important for our first responders,” said Mike Mayta, chief information officer (CIO) at the city of Wichita, Kansas. “The more information that we can get to them, the better they’re going to be able to serve the public. We’ve been partners with T-Mobile for well over 10 years, and what we’re seeing through this Heroes program is they’re walking the walk and not just talking the talk.”

T-Mobile also offered a plan for individual first responders and their families. With 50% off family lines compared with Magenta, Magenta First Responder offers four lines for $25 per line with unlimited talk, text and smartphone data or $35 per line for four lines with the same features plus HD streaming and 20 Gigabytes of LTE hot spot data.

Sievert said the carrier is buildings its 5G network “at a furious pace” and that T-Mobile’s 5G network is now eight times bigger than AT&T’s 5G network and 28,000 times bigger than Verizon’s 5G network.

T-Mobile’s 5G service is now live in San Francisco and Sacramento, California, and is starting to light up across Tampa and Orlando, Florida. T-Mobile’s 5G network now covers nearly 6,000 cities and towns and more than 225 million Americans across more than 1 million square miles. The carrier’s LTE network covers more than 99% of people in the U.S., a T-Mobile statement said.

“In just a few short years, the new company will have 14 times the capacity of T-Mobile stand-alone, covering 99% of Americans nationwide from factories to farms,” the statement said.

Separately, T-Mobile said it is giving Sprint and T-Mobile postpaid customers a new iPhone SE free or up to half off a Samsung Galaxy S20 5G device starting May 21 – 25. Customers just trade in their existing eligible device, and they’ll owe nothing but the sales tax on an iPhone SE or get up to $500 off another new superphone.

Earlier this month, T-Mobile announced plans to hire 5,000 people next year as part of its commitment to create new jobs.

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