T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere, announced today that if the merger with Sprint goes through, New T-Mobile will give free 5G unlimited service for 10 years to first responders.

Update 5/21: Spotted by The Verge, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert announced that the Connecting Heroes Initiative bringing free service to first responders is now live. Eligible public and non-profit organizations can apply here.

Reported by The Verge, the new plan comes through the Connecting Heroes Initiative. Legere shared more on the new program:

“First responders are under more pressure than ever before. With the 5G network New T-Mobile will create, we can do our part to help say thanks,” Legere said. “We’re talking about connecting every public and nonprofit state and local police fire and EMS agency and every one of their first responders with unlimited talk, text, and smartphone data with the highest network priority.”

The carrier also says on the Connecting Heroes website that it is shooting to cover 90% of rural Americans with 5G over the next five years.

By 2024, we aim to build a transformational 5G network to reach more businesses in cities and towns across the U.S. than anyone else, covering 90% of rural Americans.

Eligible agencies can join a waitlist to now on T-Mobile’s Connecting Heroes page to get ready for the free coverage.

Legere believes that across the US, over the next 10 years, almost $8 billion could be saved by fire, police, and EMS agencies by using the free 5G offer.

If all of the agencies sign up, Legere said they would save around $7.7 billion over the next 10 years. It’s money they can put toward “better pay” and “life-saving tools,” Legere said.

Notably, this could be a great way to convert a lot of agencies. It’s common for carriers to offer a discount and data prioritization for first responders but this may be the first plan to give totally free service (for 10 years nonetheless) to fire, police, and EMS agencies.

As a side note, the announcement of this program also makes it look like T-Mobile and Sprint are confident about the merger going through as they face a multi-state lawsuit from state attorneys general.

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Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.