The first 5G wireless networks are starting to come online, and the first 5G-capable smartphones are starting to hit the market. Now Verizon is also launching its first 5G mobile hotspot which you can use to connect a laptop, tablet, or other devices to Verizon’s high-speed cellular network.
It comes at a cost though — the Verizon Inseego 5G MiFi M1000 doesn’t just have a catchy name, it’s also a rather expensive option, with the hotspot selling for $650.
Verizon says you can spread that cost out by making 24 monthly payments of $27.08 each. Or you can sign a 2-year contract to bring the price down to $500.
But those prices don’t even include the cost of a data plan.
Verizon customers who sign up for a connected device-only plan (without a smartphone) will have to shell out at least $85 per month, while customers with a Verizon Unlimited smartphone plan can add a 5G MiFi to their account and get 50GB of 5G data plus 15GB of 4G LTE data for an extra $30.
In both cases, that’s $10/month more than you’d pay for a 4G LTE version.
unlimited Smartphone plan can add a 5G MiFi to their plan and get 50GB of 5G data plus 15GB of 4G LTE data for an additional $30.
I’m still not convinced it makes sense for most folks to buy 5G phones, hotspots, or other hardware this year. You end up spending more money on hardware and service for the ability to access a faster, lower-latency network. But 4G LTE is plenty fast enough for most of the things we use mobile devices for today.
Verizon highlights support for next-gen experiences like streaming 8K video with no buffering or using virtual reality and augmented reality. But I suspect those are things few of us really need to do over a mobile network.