T-Mobile’s offer of free mobile service for first responders for 10 years is now available, CEO Mike Sievert announced today. The program, officially called “Connecting Heroes,” provides free access to the company’s network over the next decade for members of state and local public and nonprofit law enforcement, fire, and EMS agencies.
We’ve just launched something only the⚡️Supercharged⚡️ #Uncarrier can, something that gives BILLION$ back to our nation’s First Responder Agencies. Introducing #ConnectingHeroes! Now, first responders can stay connected with service, including #Nationwide5G access! #5GforGood
— Mike Sievert (@MikeSievert) May 21, 2020
The offer of free service, which includes unlimited talk, text, and 4G / 5G data, was part of a set of promises the company made to help convince regulators to approve its merger with Sprint. And now, with that merger successfully completed, the newly expanded T-Mobile is making good on that promise. Sievert claimed T-Mobile will follow through on its other pledges as well, and he took shots at AT&T and WarnerMedia for raising prices after their combination.
Of course, there are a few caveats to the offer. The deal is only available of members of eligible first responder groups — and agencies will have to contact T-Mobile to get approved first. The Connecting Heroes plans are also more limited than T-Mobile’s regular Magenta plan: while some things are the same, like the 5GB of high-speed data in Mexico and Canada and the SD video limitations, there are a few perks that aren’t included.
Tethering on the Connecting Heroes plan is limited to 1GB of LTE tethering (compared to 3GB on the Magenta plan), and there’s no mention of the free data and texting abroad (although the fine print does note that Connecting Heroes plan members can purchase additional international features) or the free Netflix or in-flight Wi-Fi offers that come with the Magenta plan.
The Connecting Heroes plan is just part of T-Mobile’s promised goodwill initiatives. Also included is its $15-per-month Connect wireless plan with unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data for half of the company’s $30 “Essentials” plan, and Project 10Million, which promised free internet for 10 million households to provide children around the country better access to the internet to close “the homework gap.”