As U.S. operators light up commercial 5G networks in select markets with plans to offer nationwide coverage in the 2020-2021 timeframe, we’re just now getting a look at how much subscribers will have to pay for an enhanced mobile broadband experience.
Verizon this week announced it will activate 5G in select parts of Chicago and Minneapolis on April 21 with the Moto z3–and the clip-on 5G “mod,” as the launch device. According to the carrier, postpaid subscribers with an unlimited plan–Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited or Above Unlimited, can get unlimited 5G for a $10 per month up-charge with fees waived for the first three months.
Verizon’s fixed wireless residential broadband service, called 5G Home, became available in parts of four markets on Oct. 1 and goes for $50 per month for current Verizon Wireless customers with a qualifying smartphone plan, or $70 per month for non-Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon said there are no additional hardware costs, and the monthly rate includes all taxes and fees.
Late last year AT&T began offering a mobile 5G service in parts of 12 cities and launched with a mobile hot spot device. While free to select early adopters “for at least 90 days,” according to AT&T, the Nighthawk hot spot costs $499 upfront with a 5G data plan that includes 15 GB of data for $70 per month.
T-Mobile US, which is working to gain regulatory approval to proceed with a $26 billion merger with rival Sprint, has made clear it won’t charge more for 5G service with a spokesperson telling RCR Wireless News, “With the New T-Mobile, we don’t plan to charge differently for 5G vs. LTE for smartphones.”
In a blog post published this week, T-Mo CEO John Legere, who has also been tapped to lead the combined company, even hinted at a potential future price reduction given the planned shift in larger network economics.