The Price For 5G
You didn’t think your telco carrier was just going to upgrade your data delivery from 4G to 5G for free, right? Well now we know how much at least one of the carriers is planning to charge for customers who opt in to 5G. Verizon is the first to announce an extra $10/mo charge (per smartphone) for 5G, when it begins the rollout in Chicago and Minneapolis next month.
This fee comes with a few caveats right now. First, you must upgrade to a 5G compatible phone to even handle the new data speeds. Then 5G phone owners with 5G data plans will only be able to use the new platform in larger metros which have converted to 5G. If you happen to be in a market without 5G your phone will default back to the available 4G platform.
I predict we’ll see the 5G upcharge during a short-term “innovation bubble” – maybe the next 12-18 months. Then someone (T-Mobile perhaps?) will offer 5G for free and start bashing the other carriers for charging you extra for it. Then everyone will make it free and unlimited just like most of today’s 4G data plans.