UPDATE: Lost in a sea of exciting "Un-carrier" announcements, T-Mobile's own-brand 5G Hotspot went on sale right on schedule on June 16, fetching $198 with no strings attached whatsoever, $99 with a new line on an "eligible" 5GB or higher Mobile Internet plan, and... $0 with a 50GB or higher Mobile Internet plan and a new line. There's not much else to say now than "have at it!"
You may not remember this now, but 5G hotspots have been a thing since before 5G phones became a thing. Of course, the main reason you might have trouble remembering that is because mobile hotspots are not exactly the "sexiest" consumer devices in the world, rarely getting much attention from us apart from the occasional quick announcement post.
While we're evidently dealing with a product announcement today as well, the T-Mobile 5G Hotspot actually seems special for at least two different reasons. The first is that straightforward but fairly weighty name, strongly suggesting Magenta plans to push this bad boy in its stores way more aggressively than the third-party Inseego 5G MiFi M2000 normally sold by the "Un-carrier" in exchange for a whopping $336.
That brings us to the second and arguably bigger reason why the T-Mobile 5G Hotspot warrants our undivided attention today. Despite packing a bigger 6,460mAh battery than the aforementioned Inseego model and being able to connect users to a grand total of 32 devices simultaneously, the hot new product is priced at an ultra-affordable $198.
Even better, both new and existing T-Mobile customers (including Business account owners) will be able to get the Magenta-branded 5G hotspot for free from its first day of availability (next Thursday, June 16) without having to jump through too many hoops.
All you'll have to do is add a line of "eligible" 50 or 100GB Mobile Internet (MI) service... or settle for a cheap new line on an "eligible" 5GB MI plan and pay $99 instead of the aforementioned $198 retail price. Said full price, of course, can also be split in 24 monthly installments of just $8.25 each after a down payment of... $0.
Basically, T-Mo is doing everything in its power to help you spend as little as possible for access to the nation's largest, fastest, and (allegedly) most reliable 5G network, which is clearly not what we can say about Verizon. The number one US wireless service provider by subscribers sells the Inseego MiFi M2100 5G UW for no less than $400 at the time of this writing, and as far as we can tell, there's no easy way to bring that price point down for either new or existing customers.