AT&T CEO Believes 5G Phone Plans Could Be Tiered and Priced on Data Speed

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The next couple of years will see the rollout of 5G cellular phone networks from companies like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, and it sounds like 5G smartphone plans might not be priced in the same way as current 4G LTE plans.

    During today's AT&T earnings call, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said (via The Verge) that he believes the pricing for 5G connectivity could resemble home broadband pricing with different prices for different speed tiers rather than one set price for the fastest connectivity available.

    5G networks are still in the early days, so how pricing will ultimately work out remains to be seen. It's also not clear how variable pricing for tiered speeds would work given the fact that 5G connections speeds are going to vary depending on whether you're in a city or in a more rural area.

    The fastest 5G speeds, available through mmWave technology, will be limited to urban areas. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg this week explained that millimeter wave high-frequency spectrum isn't suitable for widespread coverage, a sentiment shared by T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray, who wrote a blog post on the subject earlier this week.
    AT&T has launched its 5G network in a handful of markets across the United States, and other carriers, like Verizon, have also been starting their 5G network rollouts.

    There are few smartphones that are able to take advantage of 5G networks at the current time, but additional 5G smartphones are expected later in 2019.

    Rumors suggest Apple's first 5G iPhone will come out in 2020, when 5G networks are more mature and more widely available. Apple is planning to use chips from Qualcomm and perhaps Samsung now that Intel is out of the 5G smartphone modem chip business.

    Article Link: AT&T CEO Believes 5G Phone Plans Could Be Tiered and Priced on Data Speed
  2. bwillwall macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2009
    They better not cap on small amounts of data when the tech has caught up.
  3. farewelwilliams macrumors 68020

    Jun 18, 2014
  4. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    Can't wait for 6G when they start tiering by location, type of smartphone, etc, etc...:rolleyes:
  5. nojkepop macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2014
    He believes it will be or hopes they can force users to pay for speeds to simply make more money. I believe people will most likely leave AT&T if this is the case.
  6. Guidonculous macrumors member


    Dec 3, 2015
    It’s sucks when What should be considered a utility is being treated with “some people will be willing to pay more for the full experience”.

    This quote from att shows exactly why this idea that private companies will provide the best experience to the largest number of users for something which is effectively necessary to function in society is incredibly misguided.
  7. jerry16 macrumors regular


    Sep 12, 2016
    across the universe
    Just because something is considered a utility doesn’t mean it is immune from customers putting up with pricing shenanigans. Google Alliant Energy rate increase for some fun reading. At least in the wireless industry there is SOME competition and choice for consumers.
  8. dlewis23 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2007
    I really do not like Randall and I'm a big believer that he needs to go. He really has not done good for AT&T as a company or a stock.

    They have bought so much stuff they don't need and they make stupid statements like this. They keep raising their prices on everything to pay for the stupid stuff they bought.
  9. budselectjr macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2009
    I don't want a 5G handset anywhere near me so hopefully this helps out.
  10. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    If they’re going to charge by speed then they better massively increase their data caps. I might only have 500mbps speed home internet, but I get 4TB of data!
  11. dlewis23 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2007
    And how do you think that is going to work out in 2 years? Every phone will be 5G.
  12. Guidonculous macrumors member


    Dec 3, 2015
    Electricity is far lower on my cost per month than telecommunications. I obviously use electricity more than telecommunications, as many times I am heating stuff.

    My utilities costs haves stayed far more consistent year to year than my ever expanding telecommunications budget.

    Quite simply, there are no quotes from my utilities about how they plan to start charging for more services in the future, whereas each few weeks we see such quotes from telcos.

    Also, my point originally was more about equality of access rather than simply a price concern.
  13. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Fine with that if it includes true unlimited data. With phones I don't see much point in anything beyond 50mbps. Even that is a high. 4k streaming only takes 25mbps.

    Reliable speed and low ping is more important than extraordinarily high numbers.
  14. AngerDanger, Apr 24, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019

    AngerDanger macrumors 601


    Dec 9, 2008
    You know, I think it could get far more arbitrary…

  15. retta283 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 8, 2018
    Kingman, AZ
    I can't believe the 5G craze. 4G is already so fast, how much data do people need on the go? Half the time it's just people screwing around on social media in public. 4G is faster than most Wi-Fi 10 years ago, I don't know why it's not enough.

    And let the chip makers take their time. If something like this is rushed it will suck and be available almost nowhere.
  16. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
  17. ersan191 macrumors 65816

    Oct 26, 2013
  18. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    I’d imagine the lower end of the spectrum would command a premium just because it should have more uniform coverage. Paying extra to play hide and seek with mm waves doesn’t sound like a business model I’d buy into.

    The only time I really care about speeds anywhere near that high is when I’m running a personal hotspot, and since mm wave has no penetration, it’s not really suitable for that. Current speeds are sufficient for most of what I care to download because the biggest payload is video and screen size is limited in mobile devices.

    Do they think people are going to pay for gigabit, fire up Netflix for the night, say “hold on honey, I need to run to the corner”, run down the street to where they have line of sight, download the video in 5 seconds or whatever and then come home to watch it?

    I’m just realizing this is a great business opportunity for the old Blockbuster stores— if they set up wherever there’s known good 5G, then people could drive out to the store to pick up their Netflix download....
  19. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
  20. az431 macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2008
    Portland, OR
    That phrase sometimes fits, but not here.

    Even if you don’t appreciate why someone would want to watch a 4K video on their phone there are plenty of business use cases for 5G.

    The fact that something is not useful to you doesn’t mean it’s not useful to anyone.
  21. pika2000 macrumors 603

    Jun 22, 2007
    So how many of you are so gung ho about 5G? So you can pay more?

    This is why I don’t understand why people demanding 5G now. We all know with how the tech works, coverage will be extremely limited. And obviously, just like how 4G was, carrier’s will charge you a premium for it. Oh and you have to buy a new carrier specific phone too.
  22. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    this will inevitably cause lawsuits. There will be innumerable circumstances where a 5G connection will be slower than regular ole 4G LTE... people will want their money back.
  23. Nhwhazup macrumors 68020


    Sep 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    The problem I have in NH is - we barely have 4G LTE. It’ll be forever before we get usable 5G.
  24. DHagan4755 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002

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