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Operators need to monetize 5G. But if consumers are to be charged a premium, 5G has to offer them something tangibly more for their money. So far, early 5G launches have failed to overly tantalize consumers with anything shiny and new.


  • April 2019 was a busy month for the 5G pricing story. Five operators – Verizon in the US, Swisscom, and all three Korean telcos – launched commercial services.
  • The 5G services offer a faster speed: Verizon advertises a typical download speed of 450Mbps; Swisscom launched speed tiers of 50Mbps, 100Mbps, and up to 1Gbps for 5G.
  • SK Telecom in Korea differentiated 5G plans not on speed but on other factors such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), ultra-high definition (UHD), VIP loyalty programs, premium content, and multilines. Swisscom also differentiates its 5G plans on more than just speed (e.g., roaming data buckets, secondary lines).

Features and Benefits

  • Unpacks the 5G plans that have come market so far, concluding that more innovation is required to convince consumers to pay a decent premium for 5G.
  • Advises operators on how to price 5G, but also how not to do it.

Key questions answered

  • What differentiators have emerged in new 5G plans?
  • How should telcos price for 5G?

Table of contents


  • Introduction
  • Download 1: Consumer 5G Pricing: The Quest for Monetization Falls Short