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How mobile network operators will sell us the 5G

It is now six months since the opening of 5G networks around the world began. Last August, the GSMA operators and manufacturers association published an inventory of the deployment. At that time, 5G was marketed in 20 countries by 40 operators, with 136 terminals available. 

Which services and uses?

At the moment, there is little creativity on the part of operators who have already launched 5G. They both offer two types of services: 5G boxes for fixed wireless access and mobile network.

Some additional service deployments such as Sunrise which will launch a 5G cloud gaming application in November. Virtual reality and augmented reality are also widely discussed, especially at sporting events with second-screen applications that allow for a different experience of retransmissions. But overall, for the general public, the promise remains focused on connection speed, which is around 1 Gbit/s.

A few technical problems accompanied the launch of 5G commercial networks in many countries in the early days. The award was given to Vodafone, whose users reached 5G speeds lower than 4G in London or Manchester in September.

Finally, opposition to 5G from anti-waves is stronger than when 4G was launched. In Switzerland, for example, cantons have imposed moratoria, while online demonstrations and petitions are increasing. It will delay deployments to cities.

Which subscription model?

In terms of package prices, three models seem to emerge. The first, very classic, is the one that takes place in South Korea. This country is an example with its three national operators that have switched to 5G, and almost covered population, 3.5 million 5G users and a threefold increase in data traffic. The 5G is sold more or less expensive depending on the quantity of mobile internet offered, from 43 dollars for 8 GB of data to 70 dollars for unlimited.

Korea has therefore chosen relatively convenient tariffs. In contrast, the United States has maintained high prices of up to $100 per month.

The second, rarer model is that of the operator Elisa in Finland. It has chosen to modulate its offers according to the connection speed. You need to count 50 dollars per month for 1 Gbit/s, 40 dollars for 600 Mbit/s, 32 dollars for 300 Mbit/s.

Finally, the third model, there are a few cases of operators who have chosen to keep the same 4G packages and add a supplement to them to obtain 5G — about 9 dollars in the case of Sunrise in Switzerland and Verizon in the United States.