AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson nowadays stated that 5G will possibly be priced similarly to wireline Internet, with customers paying more for quicker speeds.

With 5G, “I can be very amazed if… The pricing regime in wireless does not appear something like the pricing regime you notice in fixed line,” Stephenson said throughout an income call these days. (See transcript.)

Some customers “are willing to pay a top class for 500Mbps to 1Gbps velocity and so on,” Stephenson endured. “And so I expect that to be the case. We’re or 3 years far away from due to the fact that play out.”

In wellknown, wireline domestic Internet offerings have been priced based on velocity—a subscriber can pay extra for 100Mbps than 50Mbps, as an example. Cellular pricing is usually identical regardless of what facts speeds you get, however clients should pay for every gigabyte. Meanwhile, cell vendors have traditionally imposed ways stricter statistics caps and overage charges than domestic Internet carriers. There’s some overlap among pricing structures, specifically as home Internet companies impose information caps, however, in popular clients have paid for speed in-home Internet and for the number of statistics in mobile.

AT&T has enjoyed with each sort of pricing because it offers cellular provider national and wireline service in 21 states.


On the cell facet, AT&T has re-embraced unlimited telephone facts the beyond few years. But it also nevertheless sells cellphone plans that allow clients to use less than 10GB of records each month earlier than they face excessive slowdowns to speeds of just 128kbps.

AT&T cell already has some pace-primarily based differentials in its plans. For example, AT&T limits video streaming to 1.5Mbps (about 480p best) unless clients pay for a more costly plan that allows streaming in 1080p. What Stephenson defined these days might appear to head beyond that, requiring clients to pay greater for faster speeds for all online activities.
Pay more… And then extra?

A key question for 5G customers is whether they’ll need to pay for extra facts and for higher speeds or if it might just be one or the opposite. Given that Stephenson says AT&T’s 5G pricing will look “something just like the pricing regime you notice in fixed line,” we will get some hints from how AT&T treats home Internet today.

The answer—not surprisingly—is that AT&T domestic Internet clients pay greater for higher speeds and for unlimited records. AT&T fiber-to-the-domestic Internet expenses greater for gigabit speeds than it does for 100Mbps, and AT&T additionally fees specific charges for one-of-a-kind speeds on its older and slower DSL lines.

But simply deciding to buy get entry to to higher speeds doesn’t assure that you may use those speeds without paying once more for statistics cap overages. An AT&T domestic Internet user that truly makes use of his or her pinnacle speeds continuously will blow beyond AT&T’s home Internet statistics caps. AT&T home Internet customers get 1TB according to month and pay any other $10 for every extra 50GB block. Customers can as an alternative improve to unlimited domestic Internet records from AT&T for a further $30 a month.

If 5G mobile services are priced the equal manner, you would pay a better base rate for faster speeds and rack up extra fees if the use of the one’s speeds pushes you past the facts cap.

Another unknown is what throttling rules might follow to 5G. With 4G, AT&T customers who purchase limitless data can use 22GB a month before going through capacity slowdowns, though those slowdowns are handiest imposed in congested network areas.