T-Mobile USA Offers Free Talk, Data to First Responders
Friday, November 08, 2019 | Comments

T-Mobile USA announced a new initiative targeting public-safety users as it rolls out its nationwide 5G service. The Connecting Heroes Initiative is a 10-year commitment to provide free 5G access — unlimited talk, text and smartphone data — to every first responder at every public and nonprofit state and local police, fire and EMS agency across the entire United States.

T-Mobile plans to light up nationwide 5G Dec. 6, covering more than 200 million Americans and more than 5,000 cities and towns across the country including millions in rural America.

T-Mobile called the Connecting Heroes initiative a $7.7 billion, 10-year commitment. Participating first responders will have the highest priority of any plan on T-Mobile’s network no matter how much data they use.

The offering is only available following the closing of T-Mobile’s pending Sprint merger. The FCC approved the merger this week. Several states’ attorneys general have sued to block the merger and are slated to start trial Dec. 9.

Agencies must verify eligibility and the service is subject to line limits. Video typically streams on smartphone/tablet at DVD quality. Coverage is not available in some areas and may be impacted by emergencies, the deal’s fine print said.

Other terms and conditions said the unlimited talk and text features are for direct communications between two people; conference and chat lines may cost extra. The service is not available for hot spots and some other data-first devices. Video streams at up to 1.5 Megabits per second (Mbps). Regarding tethering T-Mobile said 1 Gigabyte (GB) of high-speed data then unlimited on its network at maximum 3G speeds, the fine print said.

The service may be slowed, suspended, terminated or restricted for interference with our network or ability to provide quality service to other users or abusive/excessive use. On-device usage is prioritized over tethering usage, which may result in higher speeds for data used on device, the fine print said.

The first responder initiative was rolled out with two other plans. Project 10Million is designed to eradicate the homework gap that exists for millions of children by offering free service and hot spots and reduced cost devices to 10 million households around the U.S. for five years. The T-Mobile Connect prepaid service offering will bring a new competitive $15 per month prepaid option — half the price of the lowest T-Mobile plan — to everyone, especially lower-income consumers.

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