Verizon Confirms That Yes, 5G Will Cost You Extra

from the nothing's-shocking dept

By now we’ve established that while fifth-generation (5G) wireless will result in faster, more resilient networks, the technology has been over-hyped to an almost nauseating degree. Yes, faster, lower latency networks are a good thing, but 5G is not as paradigm-rattling as most wireless carriers and hardware vendors have led many in the press to believe. 5G is more of a useful evolution than a revolution, but it has become the equivalent of magic pixie dust in tech policy circles, wherein if you simply say “it will lead to faster deployment of 5G!” you’ll immediately add gravitas to your otherwise underwhelming K Street policy pitch.

Throughout all of the hype, carriers have been really hesitant to discuss what’s perhaps the most important question: how much will 5G cost? After all, next-generation connectivity is only going to help boost broadband competition if it’s both ubiquitous and affordable, two things the US wireless industry has never really been known for. And now that the carrier lobbyists have effectively convinced the Pai FCC to neuter itself, that question has only become more important.

It’s starting to become clear why carriers haven’t wanted to much talk about price. AT&T’s early offerings haven’t been much to write home about. And this week Verizon took the wraps off the pricing for its mobile 5G offerings, noting that consumers will need to pay $10 extra per month across the board if they’re interested in using it:

“Verizon has decided to treat its emerging mobile 5G network as a premium service that customers should pay more to access. The company is debuting its mobile 5G network next month at select locations in Chicago and Minneapolis, but customers wishing to use it will need a new phone and a new, costlier plan.

Verizon confirmed its new Mobile 5G service will require a new premium unlimited plan, starting at $85. That is $10 more than Verizon?s current GoUnlimited plan. Customers will also need a Motorola Moto Z3 phone ? currently the only model compatible with Verizon?s 5G network, and a special 5G Moto Mod attachment, sold separately.”

In other words, 5G will cost you extra. Which isn’t surprising if you’ve watched Verizon at all over the last decade or two.

Granted some will try and claim that Verizon should charge more due to the high costs of 5G deployment. That ignores the fact that US consumers already pay some of the highest prices for 4G LTE mobile data in the developed world. That also ignores that Verizon just nabbed incalculable countless billions from the Trump tax cuts and a litany of policy favors from the FCC, money the company has already acknowledged won’t be put back into the network. That money was, if you have a memory, supposed to go toward significant new jobs and network investment, according to Verizon.

Verizon’s charging more because it doesn’t believe it will be adequately punished by competitors for doing so. And it doesn’t worry about competition because while the wireless sector (including T-Mobile) talks a good game, they still usually refuse to seriously compete on price. And with the looming Sprint and T-Mobile merger preparing to reduce the total number of major competitors in the space from four to three, that’s not getting better anytime soon.

That brings us to the other major question users should be asking about 5G. In a post net neutrality landscape where the FCC no longer seriously has the authority to hold wireless carriers accountable, what kind of annoying restrictions will be placed on these lines? Verizon (who already charges some “unlimited” data customers more to stream video in HD) hasn’t affixed any on these early 5G markets yet, but should the FCC win its looming lawsuit over the net neutrality repeal, all bets are off.

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Companies: verizon

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Comments on “Verizon Confirms That Yes, 5G Will Cost You Extra”

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Anon says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Predatory Pricing

Arguing for or against government regulation is kind of irrelevant when the business exists and has limited competition explicitly because of government controls. Because the government does not allow anyone to put up whatever towers they want, using whatever frequency they want, it is incumbent on the government to ensure those who do resell the limited bandwidth do not charge an excessive amount.

Presumably, the need for network upgrades should be figured into the price of the existing service already.

the other problem is – great, faster service? Other than streaming 4K video on devices barely big enough to make HD relevant is more overkill that it is "providing a service"… what good is faster service? The only advantage I see is servicing more clients in a timely manner – ie. service in crowds like sports events.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

To an extent, sure. But, the government sometimes has to step in when corporations are abusing their power. This does not mean price setting or running the business for them, but rather ensuring that the market is fair where normal market forces aren’t going to settle themselves. Predatory pricing on utilities fits into that category.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Unfortunately, yes, that is the culture. However, given the criminal lack of competition, markets won’t fix anything.

Further… considering the billions these companies have taken for buildout, without doing any, one may imagine the people, via their hand known as government, might reasonably take an action demanding the money back, buildout without rate increases, setting rates, or some other action.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"You can’t say "Verizon sells X mbps with Y latency for $85 and you can get something slightly better or worse from country Z for $50?"

I can, but you’re moving the goalposts now. Your original question was about 5G, and the answer to that is that not only has nobody decided on a standard, most countries haven’t rolled out their version of it yet.

Google is available if you need to price compare under whatever criteria you make up in your head, but the above is the answer to the question you asked.

Anonymous Coward says:

And with the looming Sprint and T-Mobile merger preparing to reduce the total number of major competitors in the space from four to three, that’s not getting better anytime soon.

Bode, there is no competition in this market, so please stop whining about the damn merger already.

Every single wireless company charges the same $69.99/mo for the first account setup, not including special offers.

That’s not competition.

That’s price fixing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Reasons I decided to #Walkaway
When Hate crimes that were Front Page news became Back Page news if they turned out to be fake.
When Obama brought up police brutality at the funeral of murdered police officers in Dallas.
When Marxism is celebrated even though it murdered 100 million people in the last century.
When identity politics became more valid than having an argument.
When you can publicly demonize white males to the point of celebrating them becoming “extinct” (literally something a friend told me).
I’m so happy I walked away and as the Left delves deeper into identify politics and socialism, there’s ZERO chance I’ll be walking back.

Toom1275 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Basically, the model is:

  • Liar/troll claims to recently be a former leftist/democrat
  • Claims they believed in some of the good things democrats/left stand for
  • Says they chose the other side because [insert variable amount of debunked pants-on-head bullshit claims against democrats/left (see above for examples)]
  • Say something along the lines of "Because of all that I chose to #walkaway"

It was started by a right-wing hairstylist, but has been since been picked up mainly by Kremlinbots, and many pictures of these "Screw humanity and human rights, I’m a Republican now" ‘Democrats’ have been found to be stock photos.

Glenn says:

"Blu-ray will cost you more."

Blu-ray is next to dead ’cause DVD was good enough for most people. And, of course, streaming has replaced both for a lot of people. When HD channels started showing up, they were "extra". When SD was pushed out by HD, the price increases just stayed in place.

5G pricing is just a permanent, significant price increase for relatively minor technical enhancements.

ECA (profile) says:

Then lets add the caps...

(sorry, hand needs operation)

Its the same as what they have NOW.. Go watch that movie at 1080, and find out how many you will get in 1 month, before they CUT YOU BACK..

To bad they dont do this to Phone calls for 15 year old girls..
Or those in cars/trucks, and other uses to GET OFF THE PHONE, PAY ATTENTION, BUS turns corner and idiot Yaking away on the phone gets hit..

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