AT&T CEO, Randall Stephenson, said during the company’s earnings call today that its 5G plans in the future will likely be tiered with customers paying more for faster speeds, similar to broadband home internet plans (via The Verge). The expected future change will be notable for AT&T customers as current LTE plans give users the fastest speeds possible for one price.
Stephenson sounds quite confident that tiered plans that increase in cost for faster speeds will be coming to AT&T with 5G over the next couple of years:
“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,” Stephenson said. “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.”
Earlier this month, Verizon launched its 5G service in Chicago and Minneapolis, with a price jump of $10 compared to its LTE unlimited plans. With the 5G rollout from the carrier so limited for now, there’s no telling if the lack of throttling for the next-gen network will stick around or change over time.
As for T-Mobile, the Un-carrier has committed to offering 5G to its customers without raising prices. However, the company isn’t rolling out the new cellular standard as fast as AT&T and Verizon. But then again, there aren’t really any mainstream smartphones that can use 5G yet anyway.
Now that Apple and Qualcomm have settled their differences, the 2020 iPhone lineup is set to gain 5G support and will likely line up well with widespread national 5G coverage from the major US carriers.
How about you, will you be willing to pay more for tiered 5G plans? Or will this likely change make you reconsider your carrier? Share your comments down below!