Right now, when you pay for a cellular plan, you typically get what you get when it comes to speed. AT&T says that 5G is going to change that, allowing users to pay more for faster speeds.
This sort of structure isn’t outside of anything we’re used to—that’s exactly how it has worked for home broadband for years. If you can handle 50 Mbps down, then you can save money. But if you want 200 Mbps or more, then you can shell out the funds to pay for that. It’s the way of the world.
But generally speaking, mobile speeds are the same no matter what. There are some exceptions here and there—like Cricket’s 3 Mbps unlimited plan, which costs less than the company’s 8 Mbps unlimited plan—but most carriers just let you get the maximum speed all the time.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, however, said during yesterday’s earnings call that he expects 5G pricing to “look something like the pricing regime you see in fixed line,” noting that customers “are willing to pay a premium for 500Mbps to 1Gbps speed and so forth.” It’s also expected that 5G service is going to cost more than the current 4G prices, though Stephenson didn’t touch on that during the call.
It’s also unclear whether or not AT&T (or any other provider, for that matter) will offer 5G speeds with unlimited mobile packages. I speculate that, at least initially, these will be capped—though it’s hard to say what these caps will look like. If they end up sticking with the current 2 GB/5 GB/10 GB plans that are relatively common now, you can expect to blow through that number pretty quickly with the faster speeds 5G is supposed to bring. Phenomenal cosmic power, itty-bitty living space.
In other news, an Apple Watch survived six months in the sea, Google Fit comes to iOS, Zuck launched a podcast, Spigen offers a look at its Galaxy Fold prototype cases, and more.
- After six months at sea, this Apple Watch lives: A surfer lost his Apple Watch to the ocean. Six months later, he found it…still working. Dude. [Apple Insider]
- Google Fit on iOS: Google’s fitness app, which honestly barely gets any attention on Android, is not available on iOS. At least it ties into Apple Health, too. [Google Blog]
- Zuck speaks: Mark Zuckerberg launched a podcast called “Tech and Society” where he’s going to talk about the social impact of technology and Facebook’s plans around those matters. I guess this is his attempt at being more transparent? [Engadget]
- Apple recalls plugs in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UK: There’s an electrical shock risk. [CNET]
- Spigen’s Galaxy Fold cases break cover: Normally case “leaks” are pointless, but in the case of the ill-fated Galaxy Fold, it’s pretty neat to see how the unique folding aspect is approached. The cases are still in development, so these aren’t a final look. Not that it matters since the Fold is delayed indefinitely anyway. [The Verge]
- Brave gets ads: Brave, the browser that blocks all ads by default, is now pushing its own ad system. And get this: it pays users a 70% cut to look at them. [VentureBeat]
- Peloton’s playlist problems: Peloton recently got a slap on the wrist for using unlicensed music in its workouts. Now the company has switched to cheap, generic, and generally terrible music as a result. And users are pissed. Can’t really blame them—at $50 a month per user, you’d think they could afford real music. [Gizmodo]
- Qualcomm’s security snafu: 46 Qualcomm chips are vulnerable to a bug that allows attackers to pull private data and encryption keys from devices. A patch has since been released, but it’s hard to say when it will hit all affected Android devices—this is why timely updates are important, y’all. [ZDNet]
- Pirated devices are full of malware: In news that should shock no one, researchers found that pirated streaming devices are loaded with malware. Who’d a thunk? [CNET]
- Mario Kart Tour is coming: Nintendo is gearing up to release a closed beta for Android of the upcoming mobile game, with the full release hitting both Android and iOS devices this summer. [Mario Kart Tour]
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a potato? Boy do we have good news for you: the Idaho Potato Commission’s Big Idaho Potato Hotel is now an Airbnb. For just $200 per night, you can see what life is like on the inside. The inside of a potato. [Digital Trends]