The real Cost of Real 5G Service

Apple fans are usually about to get their feet wet along with 5G tomorrow when the iPhone twelve goes up for preorder. For some, this may be the closest they ever are able to ultrafast 5G: plunking down money for a device that supports the newest ultra-fast wireless standard. I’ve discussed a bit about why 5G protection is still way, way too intermittent for it as the single most important reason you update to any iPhone 12 variant. In case you don’t want to hear our thoughts about coverage, let’s discuss costs.


It would be foolish to consider that you can just upgrade to a brand new iPhone 5G and get instant access in order to faster speeds on your wireless program. That may be true for some people who are currently enrolled in 5G-friendly wireless plans. For a lot of more, however , upgrading to a 5G phone also means upgrading to a possibly more expensive plan to access those quicker speeds—if you even can. (OK, OK, I’ll stop. )

Here’s a fast look at what these extra expenses look like across the Big Three companies:


The real cost of 5G on Verizon: $80/mo

Prepaid plans: This is a bit confusing. If you’re searching directly at Verizon’s listings designed for prepaid plans , a person won’t see 5G mentioned anywhere—unlike its postpaid unlimited plans, which usually we’ll get to in a bit.

Elsewhere on Verizon’s web site, a FAQ confirms that prepaid plan customers will get access to “5G, ” but not the particular 5G you’re probably thinking of. Keep in mind, Verizon is working on two 5G technologies: “Nationwide” and “5G Extremely Wideband. ” The former is basically simply low-band 5G that gives you 4-G performance under the 5G icon. These is true 5G—all those fancy gigabit-plus speeds you’re seeing referenced in most smartphone manufacturer’s recent press occasions.

Because Verizon notes:

“5G Ultra Wideband is not really available for prepaid plans at this time. 5G Ultra Wideband is coming to Pre-paid in early 2021. Those with prepaid programs can access 5G Nationwide* using a 5G Nationwide-capable device. ”


So , theoretically, you can access “5G” without needing to upgrade your prepaid plan—unless you’re on the very basic $35/month “Talk & text” plan. If you are, you will only get 2G speeds, regardless of what kind of a 5G phone you might have.

Or else, if you want 5G Ultra Wideband—assuming you are able to access Verizon’s high-speed network to are—you’ll have to upgrade to one from the company’s prepaid unlimited plans. Plus that’ll be quite a jump, since its postpaid plans cost any where from $40-$65.


Data plans: You might not use a lot of data on-the-go, so it makes sense that you’d wish to save money with one of Verizon’s information plans —as within, you get a certain amount of gigabytes monthly before you’re billed outrageous overage fees ($15/1GB, with any information use rounded upward . ) Because before, you’ll only get access to “Nationwide 5G, ” though I don’t observe any language from Verizon regarding access to its 5G Ultra Wideband network being delayed. My mistrust is that those on capped information plans won’t be able to access that system, which seems silly, but Dont really make the billing rules.

Verizon’s data programs hover between $65-$75 (before discounts).

Postpaid plans: If you would like access to Verizon’s “5G Ultra Wideband” network on your smartphone—the fastest 5G speeds you can get—you’ll need to dish out at least $80/month to Verizon . That’s the least you’ll spend when you add the $10 5G Ultra Wideband upgrade to your $70/month “Start Unlimited” plan, or pick-up the $80/mo “Play More Unlimited” plan that includes 5G Ultra Wideband access.


The true cost of 5G upon AT& T: $75/mo

Pre-paid plans: Like Verizon, AT& T describes its 5G services in two ways: ”5G, ” which is its own version of simply “really fast LTE, ” plus 5G+, which is its “super-fast gigabit speeds using mmWave technology” execution. Only one of AT& T’s pre-paid wireless plans can access everything 5G, and that’s the $75/mo “ Unlimited Data Plus ” plan.


I haven’t seen everything to suggest that you can just access “5G, ”and not “5G+”—AT& T doesn’t divided the two terms in the descriptions for almost any of its plans—so I believe this is the approach to take if you want the latter plus a souped-up edition of the 4G LTE you curently have. That’s assuming, of course , that you do not actually get reduced speeds on 5G.

Data programs: This one’s simple. You can’t access 5G if you sign up for AT& T’s “4GB” data strategy for $50/mo.


Postpaid plans: Each one of AT& T’s postpaid “ unlimited ” plans can entry its 5G network(s). Prices vary from $65/month for AT& T Limitless Starter to $85/month for AT& T Unlimited Elite (which will get you +30GB of mobile killer spot data, HD streaming, HBO Maximum, and more mobile security features). Take note, those prices include AT& T’s “Autopay” and “Paperless billing” discount rates. So , really, these plans all of the cost $10 more normally.


The real cost of 5G on T-Mobile: $40/mo (really, $50/mo)

Before we start, a word about T-Mobile’s 5G implementation: The “Uncarrier” doesn’t distinguish between high- or lower-speed 5G (mmWave versus the “Nationwide” lower-band 5G that you should be used to hearing simply by now). It’s also building out there 5G in its mid-band spectrum, which usually splits the difference between wild speeds-plus-low coverage and 4G LTE-like speeds-plus-higher coverage.


All plans: You get access to T-Mobile’s 5G network—in whatever capacity it’s offered to are— on any plan .


This consists of all prepaid plans, data programs, and postpaid plans. The cheapest you will be able to get 5G connectivity is by means of T-Mobile’s prepaid 10GB plan ($40/mo), and the least expensive “Unlimited” plan is its pre-paid plan from the same name for $50/mo. The postpaid plans start at $60/mo.