AT&T’s 5G launch means all four US operators now sell 5G

Following today’s news (Friday 13 December) that AT&T has launched 5G services to consumers in the US;

Lynnette Luna, Principal Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“All four nationwide operators in the US now offer 5G services to consumers, but these are still early days, and the service is primarily attractive to consumers who enjoy adopting the latest technology. We will see 5G launches and consumer adoption accelerate in 2020 with better coverage and more reasonably priced 5G smartphones, which, at this point, cost $900 and up.

“Performance is also an issue. AT&T’s new deployments in its low-band spectrum do not result in data speeds that are significantly faster than 4G. Neither does T-Mobile’s deployment of 5G. As such, we are seeing little innovation on the data pricing and feature side. AT&T is including 5G access on its two most expensive 4G plans – the $85 Unlimited Extra plan and the $95 Unlimited Elite plan. T-Mobile is charging the same price for both 4G and 5G services. Verizon continues to waive the $10 per month extra it wants to charge for 5G, while Sprint includes 5G access on its two most expensive 4G plans. Both Verizon and Sprint have limitations when it comes to 5G coverage, while data speeds are measurably higher on both networks.

“As 5G begins to mature, carriers will be challenged to monetize 5G. Pricing is now established so carriers will need to usher in new value-added services (VAS) that play into the strengths of 5G, such as gaming. This will enable them to increase revenue.”

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