Smartphone buyers may slowly notice how new Apple Inc. devices are. with 5G support, they improve Internet connections that use older models, but mobile phone operators work overtime to get them to see it.
AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. used this week’s iPhone presentation as an opportunity to seduce customers who may not yet understand or care about the fifth-generation cellular standard. Four new iPhone models are equipped with technology that transmits information on the air faster and in larger volumes than before.
Advertising campaigns are driven by both economics and technology. Most Americans already have a smartphone or two, so buyers tend to come at the expense of a competitor. Three major mobile operators have begun to build their 5G networks in different ways, offering them a rare chance to uncover something unique ̵1; even if they can’t yet deliver the speed and consistency that the new technology promises.
“For the first time, networks are different,” said Cliff Maldonado, chief analyst at BayStreet Research. “5G is the perfect time to justify switching operators.”
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Verizon, which has long relied on its position and reach in the №1 market, has begun installing 5G in cities and is now continuing to catch up in rural areas. T-Mobile, a relatively small urban operator ten years ago, is now the second largest provider in the United States and advertises its 5G expansion in rural areas. And AT&T, not known for discounts, this week introduced aggressive savings offers that mimicked part of the language in old T-Mobile ads.
Each provider relies on 5G to gain an advantage when customers buy new phones. Switching phones is the most common time when operators gain or lose a subscriber.
The fight for customers among carriers will benefit Apple, paying even more attention to the device. Apple investors are already betting that the arrival of the iPhone 12 will change the latest trends for the company, which reached the peak of unit sales in fiscal year 2015 with the first version with a big screen.
Investors have reached a market value of up to 2 trillion. Dollars, making sure that new technology designed to improve the quality of video chats, online games and new features such as augmented reality, encourages customers to upgrade.
T-Mobile US, historically quick to offer deep discounts, instead this week focused on the speed and availability of its 5G network. Bellevue, Washington, strengthened its system with assets acquired from Sprint earlier this year.
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T-Mobile chief Neville Ray said Verizon’s early investment in faster millimeter-wave service, which typically covers very small areas, would disappoint Verizon customers who “must go in search of treasure to find those 5G speeds.”
On Tuesday, Verizon expanded its list of areas covered by these high-frequency signals, which support the fastest downloads on the market, but rarely cross several hundred yards. The carrier relies more than its competitors on “dynamic spectrum exchange” to extend this coverage beyond these hotspots.
The use of spectrum sharing technology allows network operators to combine old 4G signals with new 5G transmissions within the same radio channel. This is a trade-off that improves coverage through ultra-fast download speeds.
The importance of the US market became apparent on Tuesday when Verizon CEO Hans Westberg joined Apple executives to promote new devices. American iPhone 12 models are the only Apple phones that support millimeter-wave traffic.
Verizon Consumer Chairman Ronan Dunn said the frequencies would only improve the basic 5G service available to consumers across the country. The millimeter-wave service is only included in the tariff plan, although Mr Dunn said all 5G phones will have improved Verizon connections.
The highest AT&T offer for price-oriented customers. The ad, which was advertised on Tuesday, offered new and existing customers a free iPhone if they use an unlimited data rate and sell certain old smartphones.
Dallas reports say the deals “complicate wireless” upgrades, echoing the “unbearable” events that once backed T-Mobile’s advertising campaigns. Similar offers apply to new Samsung phones.
The expensive promotion – the iPhone 12 Pro Max sold in the US for $ 1,099 – still benefits AT&T, giving subscribers a reason to stick to the service as long as the carrier covers its payments in installments over 30 months. It also helps the media company develop more products, such as the HBO Max streaming service, according to customer plans. AT&T could reach up to 25 million customers, said Roger Entner, a telecommunications researcher at Recon Analytics Inc.
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T-Mobile responded on Wednesday with several promotions, including a $ 500 discount on new iPhone 12 models for certain customers. Verizon topped Apple’s event on Tuesday with its own free iPhone offering for some new customers and big discounts for existing subscribers.
Discounts are hidden costs: each offer directs customers to more expensive tariffs for unlimited data transfer. This approach is reminiscent of the old subsidy model that helped the iPhone grow more than a decade ago, when vendors regularly covered the cost of new Apple devices in exchange for two or more years of reliable contract revenue.
The momentum of phone sales has slowed in recent years as customers in many markets wait longer to upgrade their smartphones.
Wave7 Research analyst Jeff Moore has said that older iPhones and Android phones may provide a steady demand for something new, but it will not be the 5G technology that will open the gateways.
“5G will definitely be a major component of the fuss to launch the iPhone 12,” Mr Moore said. “Will it fundamentally change the way we interact with a smartphone? № 5G is not so revolutionary.”
Kevin Haddad, 69, who lives near Los Angeles, said he was not ready to upgrade his phone because there are too few programs and services that take advantage of this technology. “If there are services that I need and I want, because my phone has been working for three years now, I would be ready to upgrade,” he said.
So far, he said, he is following his current device and AT&T wireless network operator. “The reason I followed AT&T was because they were the only supplier in my area,” he said. “And that’s why I got my first iPhone. I was at AT&T. But I don’t know. I don’t plan to move. I don’t like change anymore.”
– Donald Morrison took part in this article.