As AT&T® is expanding its 5G mobile network, the executives of the carrier are starting to explore distinct strategies, comprising a tiered billing structure. The Telco giant still has not disclosed the precise 5G pricing structure though, which subscribers can expect. “I think the business models are still evolving,” said David Christopher, AT&T’s Mobility and Entertainment President, at the event Mobile World Congress Americas held in LA. “There will be different tiers of service.”
The next-gen 5G mobile networks will offer several advantages to subscribers, and it seems the best internet provider may charge distinctly for these types of advantages. Besides offering quicker download speeds, the latency of the next-gen 5G will be lower. David Christopher thought about creating a pricing tier for online gaming to capitalize on the lower latency of 5G. Note that an internet connection with low latency ensures online gamers can enjoy it without lags. Besides 5G’s benefits to gaming, its faster speeds may be advantageous for delivering augmented and virtual reality content.
Those who are looking to purchase a 5G-compatible laptop meant for gaming may be locked into a network at the time of the buy. The AT&T® Vice President of Converged Access and Device Technology, Gordon Mansfield, said so because carriers operate 5G on distinct spectrum and bands, and there will not be a modem, that provides cross-compatibility between telecommunications companies initially. This means that in case you purchase a gaming laptop via AT&T®, you will only be able to use the carrier-specific SIM card.
Besides 5G plans centered on gaming, the Telco may offer bundles with IoT devices. Recently, it announced a “SmartThings” tracker device with Samsung, which comprises one year of AT&T® service and comes at a price of $99. After the first 12 months, subscribers who wish to keep the 5G service of AT&T® can either choose to pay bills monthly or annually. For the latter or annual payment option, they will get a discounted amount.
Another option will be to add the 5G service to a subscriber’s existing bill. The Dallas-based telecommunications company could tack on a service charge for connecting smaller devices like Apple Watch to its 5G network. As of now, it charges subscribers a monthly fee of $10 to add Apple Watch’s LTE-equipped version to their phone plans.
The first 5G-compatible device to launch on the 5G network of AT&T® in 2018 is described as one that resembles a puck, which suggests that it could be a hotspot device. Phones will probably launch later this year when the Telco expands its 5G network. It also promises that 5G-compatible devices will be able to rely on the Long Term Evolution network.