Claure filled quite a bit of time explaining Sprint’s 5G plans, which currently cover launching 5G in their 2.5GHz spectrum over the first half of 2019. Sprint’s CEO said explicitly, that they are “working with Qualcomm and network and device companies in order to launch the first truly mobile 5G network in the United States by the first half of 2019.” He also stated the fact that they have an arrangement with Qualcomm to get 5G support in a chipset near the end of 2018, as well as one with a Korean manufacturer Samsung, LG to have a phone ready by early 2019.
That would put them towards the front of the pack since they want to start 5G-ready devices about the same time. Remember, T-Mobile is also targeting a 2019 kickoff, with full national 5G coverage in 2020. AT&T is starting something to do with 5G this year, while Verizon hasn’t stated its 5G wireless plans yet. Sprint’s 5G network may not have to “negotiate” like others because they are able to “deliver super-wide currents of more than 100MHz,” Claure said.
While talking 5G, though, Claure declared that his company has a “lot of room to increase” prices once 5G gets here. He indicated that they will continue to be a price leader with 4G, but that their 5G network will offer fiber-like rates and so he sees no speculation for them to undercut Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile in price. He noted that those other carriers will have a hard time doing so, because of their current prices, adding that Sprint is in a great station to “charge for the blazing fast speeds.”
Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile haven’t mentioned at this happening, as far as I know, but it almost seems like a guarantee that Sprint won’t be the only Company to increase data prices with 5G. When 4G LTE rolled around, I’m sure you can recall the great per-GB shuffling that cleared through the industry and the original end to unlimited data. Per-GB prices were not specifically affordable out of the gate, but we’re now falling into pricing wars with LTE maturing.
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