As 5G network continues to launch and extend across the globe, most attention has been on potential killer applications and consumer devices. However, AT&T® believes that in the era of 5G its first revenue growth will come from business customers.
AT&T’s Chief Financial Officer, John Stephens, shared this view while taking questions at the “Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom Conference”. Referring to 5G’s business uses as “the most exciting opportunity we have” in the course of the 5G expansion process, Stephens said that they are “convinced that business will lead in the innovation around 5G,” owing to the industrial improvements it will bring.
Referring to the ability of 5G to help automate plants, improve health care, as well as inspire new IoT applications, he said that AT&T® feels businesses will grab new opportunities, which will generate “the first set of revenue growth and innovative applications that we’ll see.” On the other hand, regular customers will continue to experience the benefits of pre-5G improvements the Dallas-based telecommunications company has made to its LTE network.
The business focus of the best internet provider is particularly interesting since it has broad network expansion plans. In 2020, the Telco giant expects its 5G network to cover about 200 million people, which would give many opportunities for it to expand beyond its present wireless subscriber base. However, the wireless provider faced its first downturn in wireless customers in 2018, which it put down to demand decline for tablets as well as reduction in discounting. The company’s rivals have announced plans to target people with 5G offerings, which range from mobile hotspots to residential broadband internet. In fact, Verizon® is launching 5G home broadband service.
Anyhow, focusing on business customers could give AT&T® the chance to sell a large number of 5G devices and subscriptions at once. 5G networks are anticipated to host billions of IoT sensors, and each one will have its own SIM and cellular chip. This will radically increase the number of subscriptions. It is likely that the profit from industrial applications could also be used to keep the prices of 5G services low for subscribers. However, there is no sign yet from the company – and perhaps facts to the contrary, that it will be the case.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2019, AT&T® promised to offer 5G coverage throughout the nation the next year.