Purchases made via links on this site may earn us commission.

Despite the fact that T-Mobile’s 5G Home Internet is using, well, a “mobile” network, you’re only supposed to use it at the address it was activated on. Still, there was technically nothing stopping you from taking your gateway with you to another location and still enjoying the service. After all, your phone can grab a 5G signal anywhere in the country, and so can your gateway.

It seems T-Mobile doesn’t want people doing that, though, at least not without paying significantly more. As such, in addition to the company just announcing a new “Away” plan, they now plan to actually track where your gateway is to make sure you’re not cheating the system.

According to documents obtained by us here at The Mobile Report, T-Mobile will now validate their Home Internet customers’ gateway locations to enforce the location requirements.

The company claims that the decision is because Home Internet is designed to work in areas that have enough network capacity, which makes sense. That being said, given they now offer a plan that works everywhere, regardless of capacity, that claim seems a bit misleading.

For context, all gateways T-Mobile has provided since the launch of 5G Home Internet have an integrated GPS, but it remained dormant and not activated. You were technically free to take your gateway with you everywhere, and T-Mobile wouldn’t really bat an eye. The GPS was still included, however, and now, T-Mobile is planning to fire them up to actually track where gateways are for billing purposes.

If you’re using the gateway within the confines of your validated address, you’ll be good. A lot of people, however, are using their gateways elsewhere. T-Mobile will be able to know exactly where it is and where you are. If you want to use your gateway outside of the validated address, T-Mobile will require you to change the address on your account. If the address you want to use it at isn’t eligible, you’re out of luck unless you want to switch to the much more expensive Away plan.

Customer service representatives will be able to see users’ addresses, and those who are using their gateway outside of it will have a flag displayed on internal tools.

As a reminder, the Away plan is $110 if you want 200GB of data per month, or $160 if you want unlimited data like the regular Home Internet plan.

The news is likely to be a big hit to some customers. A common tactic of getting Home Internet in areas where it wasn’t eligible was to use an alternate address of a friend or relative. That trick won’t work anymore.

There’s also the case of some employees using nearby addresses to validate new customers for Home Internet. It’s possible some of those customers will be blindsided by this news, and assume their address was correctly set the entire time.

Customers will begin receiving notices on May 8th if their address doesn’t match their gateway location. It’s unclear when T-Mobile will begin hard enforcing the location requirements, but it’s likely to be soon after that.

Enjoy this post? Consider supporting us on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!