5G Is Here but It’ll Cost You


Mobile World Congress had a lot of interesting news to spare, but one that everybody seems to circle around is Qualcomm’s booth and plastered “5G Is Here” on it. Now, we all know Qualcomm as the chipmaker and its products are widely used in some of our favorite smartphones. However, while phones that carry Qualcomm chipset support this technology, it’s a different thing when it comes to mobile carriers. Namely, the carriers are still in process of upgrading so consumers could use 5G services, although at the beginning it will not have wide coverage.

QualcomNonetheless, some manufacturers couldn’t wait but to show off their 5G smartphones. And so, visitors of the Mobile World Congress were introduced to Huawei’s Mate X and Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 5G which caused a lot of fuss over their price.

Thing is, Mate X will cost $2,600 when it is launched in mid-2019, which is a shockingly high price even though the phone is among the first foldable ones worldwide. Mi Mix 3 5G will be cheaper when it arrives in May for $679 which is considerably lower than Mate X. This is quite the difference in pricing devices that will both be revolutionary for 5G services when they show up. One is way too expensive and one way too low for a 5G smartphone. It remains to be seen whether these prices will remain the same on the launch dates, but the thing is that this extreme difference doesn’t help with predicting the cost of other 5G devices that every big smartphone manufacturer announced for 2019.

Huawei Mate XOn the other hand, the price of smartphones may not be the only thing consumers need to worry about. The 5G alone is not going to be cheap. After all, this is a technology that was awaited for a while now and may see it as a game-changer in the mobile industry. So, it’s no wonder that carriers are working really hard on building 5G networks and are investing billions of dollars into this new technology. The smartphones will definitely be more expensive since they will use pricier components like better batteries and 5G radios. In turn, all this will lead to more expensive devices and services by the carriers, so 5G will be quite an expense from the start.

5G ArchitectureHowever, there is one troubling fact in all this. In 2018, the sale of smartphones dropped which was quite a worrisome event for manufacturers and carriers. And with this expensive new technology, one can’t help but wonder if the consumers will be ready to spend so much money for the network that is already announced as limited to certain areas.

Without a doubt, 5G promises a lot of improvements like higher speed which will make the connection 10 to 100 times faster than the one you currently use on your smartphone. Also, this means it will be faster than the one going through a fiber-optic cable which many households use.

While Samsung, LG, ZTE, and Oppo showed their first 5G phones too, and Sony and OnePlus their prototypes to arrive this year, we still don’t have the pricing range consumers can expect to pay for this new technology. Of course, it will depend a lot on the manufacturer and phone specifications, but also the 5G price by the carriers will be a deciding factor for the consumers. However, it’s important that this high-end technology is finally here and it will continue to enhance and show us its benefits in the future. And hopefully, affordable prices.