AT&T CEO: Tiered 5G phone plans could be priced based on data speeds

“We’re still several years away from 5G blanketing the US in coverage and delivering on all the promises of breakneck speeds and low latency we’ve been hearing about,” Chris Welch reports for The Verge. “But when that eventually happens, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson foresees a change to the way that mobile providers price their plans today.”

“During today’s AT&T earnings call, Randall Stephenson said 5G might be more closely modeled after broadband internet at home, with different prices for different speed tiers,” Welch reports.

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. — AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As with cars, generally, the faster it is, the more it costs. Makes sense. You see the same sort of thing today in hotels that charge extra for premium Wi-Fi speed.


  1. Negative things about 5G:

    It’s going to cost more.
    It requires a ton more cell towers.
    Signals or reception is more affected by objects such as walls than 4G.
    5G modems are less power efficient and require more battery.
    Unlikely to get even half decent coverage for 2+ years.

    Positive things about 5G:

    It’s offers faster top speed.
    Provides way more bandwidth supporting many more devices and can better balance the network.

    Despite all the talk about 5G, the reality is most of us aren’t going to experience it truly until there is really good coverage in place which will take time, likely several years at least. I mean how many of us actually get the maximum LTE speed? It will also take a few years for the modems to become more efficient and mature. Including a 5G modem in a phone right now requires extra space and more battery.

    For the next few years I won’t mind having a 4G phone while all these issues get resolved, in fact I would probably want it in an iPad Pro 12″ or MacBook Pro (I can dream) before the phone as I can make more use of it.

    1. Am I wrong not to really care whatsoever about 5G? Edge to 3G and then to 4G were huge changes…but not simply because they were faster. You really had to be patient and highly tolerant to “get by” on Edge and 3G. I don’t really have any true feeling of 4G being deeply bottlenecked, so moving to 5G doesn’t solve a critical problem like previous upgrades did. 4G today isn’t even close to its theoretical speed limit and neither will 5G be (ever). Just like a 50% spec boost in iPhone performance today makes no meaningful difference in the experience anymore.

      I’m not against continuing to get faster (chips or wireless), but I don’t see a reason to pay more for 5G or for carriers to rush to implement it.

  2. It will not be proven safe which could be done but full speed ahead for this 100 times more powerful and with more continuous exposure. Proving bad health effects will be up to the poor individual because Congress wants to impose this burden.

    1. John Dingler knows 5G causes brain trauma because he has been beta testing 5G dongles in his home and office for the last couple of years. John is also a Samsung 5G phone beta tester, and because we have seen John’s reports get whackier and weirder, we know 5G is dangerous.

  3. So with all of the announcements, Is AT&T 5G Standards Based, read an article a little bit ago that Verizon wasn’t using the 5G standard in their roll-outs, but some Proprietary version with similar fast speeds.

    So anyone that Travels would run into the old issues that your phone doesn’t work when you cross into that country or area and you need a ‘world phone’ defeating the whole internal multiple SIM tech.

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