We are all waiting for the presentation of the first 5G smartphones. Therefore, we happen to forget that the first devices that will allow us to use the new technology will be Wi-Fi routers with 5G modems. One of them is NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G. In the first place, it will be sold by an American operator for $499.
The first devices that support the new technology have never been cheap. Over the years, we’ve become accustomed to cheap electronics. It might seem that smartphones or Wi-Fi routers are becoming more and more expensive. However, we must bear in mind the much greater possibilities of new equipment. At the same time, this applies to solutions produced on a large scale. The first routers (and 5G smartphones) will be different. These devices will be sold mainly by operators, because the largest telecoms in the world have invested in various frequency bands. While 5G networks using the 3.4 GHz – 3.8 GHz band will dominate in European countries, the USA and South Korea will start with 5G on millimeter wavelengths. In addition, the US market is different from ours in that, overseas, customers are used to buying smartphones and mobile routers from operators, not in electronics stores.
Is $499 for a 5G router an excessive price?
Let’s check the alternatives. We do not know the exact specification of NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G. However, the available graphics show that it will be similar to the Nighthawk M1 mobile router. The Nighthawk M1 currently available has an Advanced Pro LTE category 16 modem, which allows data to be downloaded at speeds up to 1 Gbps. Its main application is the Wi-Fi 802.11ac dual-band hotspot, which provides a mobile connection for up to 20 other devices. The built-in battery should be enough for all-day work. However, the manufacturer did not provide its capacity. NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 costs $199, i.e. it is 60% cheaper than its equivalent with the 5G modem.
We can count on 5G routers to get cheaper. Without this, we can not talk about popularizing new technology. I suspect that subscriber equipment will be cheaper with the development of the 5G network in new countries. The more operators implement the new technology, the greater the demand for 5G routers and smartphones. This in turn will mean launching the production of these devices on a large scale, which will entail a reduction of costs and prices in stores.