PCs with 5G connectivity might face issues like supporting international roaming, but T-Mobile fixes those issues, in addition to determining what data plans may look like.
T-Mobile sells connected PCs like Samsung’s Galaxy Book Go 5G with its data plans. The company anticipates very different user behavior on 5G compared to smartphones and will adjust its plans accordingly.
“I think in the early days there were a lot of start-ups and adjustments in the space. I think there were a lot of sticking points, from the ease of activation to the adoption of eSIM. , which weren’t quite there yet, “Ryan Sullivan, vice president of device engineering, recounted The register.
Another challenge was figuring out the distribution strategy, in part with PC makers not knowing what to do with cellular, Sullivan said. He added that T-Mobile will not be a major distributor of these connected PCs, and that the mass call for connected PCs will be through traditional retail channels.
But unlike Wi-Fi, there are requirements for 5G PCs like global roaming for seamless connectivity. Roaming around the world is already difficult for LTE smartphones, and it could be an even bigger challenge for 5G connected PCs, which will need more bandwidth.
T-Mobile has an understanding of customer behavior, usage profile, and the cost-benefit of 2G, 3G, 4G or 5G international roaming for smartphone users, but the same can’t be said for PCs.
“We don’t know that in the PC space yet, I think eventually we will learn this and you will start to see similar offerings,” Sullivan said, adding that there would be no technical limitation.
“If you see cases where it’s not offered, it’s probably by design. And that’s probably just because we’re trying to figure out the economics of PC roaming around the world, what kind of usage is generated and what the cost structure should look like, ”Sullivan said.
This is important in scenarios where international users don’t want to connect to snooping public Wi-Fi networks and prefer to seamlessly switch to 5G networks.
T-Mobile is also exploring data plans for connected PCs. Current mobile PC offerings resemble the company’s tablet plan, but other pricing structures and usage patterns are under consideration.
“Whether it becomes something you can borrow as part of your hotspot budget, or whether it’s a separate, stand-alone single plan where the throttling limits are set differently, or whether it’s a be completely under control, all of these things that we’re working on right now, ”Sullivan said.
T-Mobile said a variety of data could be offered as the user profile of the 5G PC will vary. Some will use 5G as a backup for Wi-Fi while others will use it as a replacement, and others may opt for data packs or pay-as-you-go plans.
“We think about all of these things,” Sullivan said. ®