Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint are all preparing to rollout their 5G cellular phone networks over the next few years, and if it’s up to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, the new, faster service will be priced in tiers, according to data speeds.
The Verge reports that during today’s AT&T earnings call, Stephenson commented that he believes 5G connectivity pricing should be priced like home broadband service, with different prices for different speed tiers, not one set price for the fastest connection.
“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.”
Pricing for 5G service hasn’t as yet been announced by any of the carriers, so pricing methods remain to be seen. Plus, 5G connectivity speeds will vary, depending on a user’s location, just as 4G speeds do now.
While AT&T and Verizon have already begun to rollout 5G service in a few select areas, few smartphones can take advantage of the new, faster connections. However, additional 5G phones are expected later in 2019. Apple’s first 5G smartphone is expected to debut in 2020.