MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,153
15,958



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.

5gspectrum-800x345.jpg
"I will be very surprised if, as we move into wireless, the pricing regime in wireless doesn't look something like the pricing regime you see in fixed line. If you can offer a gig speed, there are some customers that are willing to pay a premium for 500 meg to a gig speed, and so forth. So I expect that to be the case. We're two to three years away from seeing that play out."
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.
Some of this is physics - millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum has great potential in terms of speed and capacity, but it doesn't travel far from the cell site and doesn't penetrate materials at all. It will never materially scale beyond small pockets of 5G hotspots in dense urban environments.
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
 

Guidonculous

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2015
37
199
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.
 
Comment

jerry16

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2016
241
1,910
across the universe
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.

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.
 
Comment

dlewis23

macrumors 65816
Oct 23, 2007
1,061
1,330
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.
 
Comment

Guidonculous

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2015
37
199
Just because something is considered a utility doesn’t mean it is immune from customers putting up with price hikes. Google Alliant Energy rate increase for some fun reading. At least in the wireless industry there is SOME competition and choice for consumers.

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.
 
Comment

retta283

macrumors 68030
Jun 8, 2018
2,798
2,848
Victoria, British Columbia
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.
 
Comment

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
6,031
5,299
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....
 
Comment

pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
4,900
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 10 Speed and Lazy
Comment

now i see it

macrumors 604
Jan 2, 2002
7,065
14,675
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.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.