The Deadline Still Unclear on 5G Mobile Nationwide Launch

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Despite AT&T’s awaiting launch of 5G mobile services, one of its top wireless executives refused to discuss how the carrier might charge for wireless. “That’s to be determined,” said AT&T® Communications CEO, John Donovan, in a question and answer session concerning the carrier’s 5G plans in the US. “I think that’s something that collectively the industry’s going to try to innovate around. When we went from megabits and text-message plans to unlimited in the 4G network, there wasn’t a lot of incremental revenue. But 4G dropped our costs dramatically, so it improved our margins.”

Donovan did offer some hints that the Dallas-based telecommunications company may even look to obtain more revenues from several 5G connections. “Most would say now that it’s going to carry a premium because it’s so superior in some of the things it can do,” he said. “But that premium may be that you have three new devices in your home that have small connection fees, and not necessarily that you have an iPhone in your hand and the plan it’s on costs more.”

These comments from the AT&T® executive are noteworthy in view of his previous statement. Donovan earlier said that the best internet provider would launch its 5G mobile service in the upcoming few weeks. During the carrier’s third quarter earnings call, he reiterated the earlier announced 5G launch plans in the country that it will roll out 5G mobile services with 3GPP standard in parts of 12 cities by the end of 2018 and will build it out to more cities in 2019.

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The AT&T® Communications CEO said these efforts of the carrier were as part of “drive toward nationwide coverage of our 5G network,” although he did not reveal when it would offer countrywide 5G services. The operator’s launch plans further materialized recently when it said the first 5G mobile gadget would be Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot. The company made this news public in its announcement that “the world’s first millimeter wave mobile 5G browsing session with a standards-based device on a mobile 5G network” was completed successfully in Waco, Texas.

AT&T®, alongside the rest of the wireless network providers in the country, is likely and keen to raise revenues through 5G technology’s launch. However, proponents of 5G have argued that it is not necessarily a means to get more money from smartphone subscribers but can create fresh lines of business instead.

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