5G is being rolled out globally at a fast pace. In a few years’ time, it is expected to be available in most parts of the world. 5G is tested to be several times faster than current 4G network. So, will consumers have to pay more for a faster network? Well, the answer to that will depend on various factors such as your location and the telecom carrier you choose. Here are some things we need to know to understand if 5G plans cost more than 4G.
Cost of 5G handset
There is a misconception that 5G smartphones are much costlier than 4G devices. It may have been true a few years ago, but not now. Currently, most of the leading handset manufacturers offer 5G phones. It includes Apple, Google, Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, and LG. Prices start at $199, which is almost the same as that of 4G smartphones.
Of course the price will be higher for premium phones such as iPhone. For example, iPhone 12 mini is available at $599 whereas the standard iPhone 12 is available from $699. Prices will be cheaper on monthly basis if you go for carrier bundled plans.
5G monthly plan cost
Unlimited 5G plans are comparable to existing 4G plans. For example, Verizon offers the Start Unlimited plan at $70 per month. Play More plan is available at $80 per month whereas Get More plan costs $90 per month.
AT&T users with Unlimited Starter plan can get 5G at $65 per month. Unlimited Extra and Unlimited Elite plans are available for $75 and $85 per month, respectively. For T-Mobile users, the options include Essentials plan ($60 per month) and Magenta ($70 per month). These plans show that 5G cost is comparable to 4G cost.
Is 5g really faster than 4G?
On an average, 5G has shown to offer speed of up to 1 Gbps. Researchers have achieved speeds of even 10 Gbps with 5G equipment. But these were carried out in a laboratory environment. In real world conditions, 5G speeds are much lower. On an average, 5G speeds were up to 75 Mbps by end of 2020. Most carriers had their 5G speed at roughly the 70 Mbps mark on an average.
This is certainly higher than average 4G speeds that were recorded in the range of 37 Mbps to 53 Mpbs (approx.). However, current 5G speeds are nowhere close to the claimed top speed of 1 Gbps. 5G speeds also vary significantly based on location and carrier. For example, median 5G download speed was 94.8 Mbps in Kansan on AT&T network. In Houston, the speed was much higher at 223.1 Mpbs on Verizon network.
It is expected that 5G speed will continue to increase, as the network becomes denser and more widely available. This trend has already been there with 4G network. With more users switching to 5G, cost of 5G is also expected to reduce.