The price of progress: international 5G pricing plans

Commercial 5G services launched in April this year in South Korea and the US, and it is expected that 5G mobile services will have been launched by operators around the world by the end of 2019. A new style of mobile package is emerging; 5G packages seem to be characterised by substantial (or unlimited) data allowances which differentiate the data speed, rather than offering a capped monthly data allowance. Further, the overall price of 5G data packages is often not substantially higher than comparable existing data packages. In this paper, we analyse the 5G mobile plans that have been announced so far in South Korea, the US and the UK, and consider what these reveal about the mobile operators’ expectations for 5G data growth and consumers’ willingness to pay for 5G.