HSPA/LTE costs can be below €3 per month

Even without voice services, mobile broadband operators can keep their monthly capital and operating expenditures to €3 per subscriber and profitably provide up to 5GB of data per month for every subscriber.

This claim comes from a new techno-economic study published by Nokia Siemens Networks that examined the costs and opportunities of using HSPA and LTE technology in existing sites and by using spectrum on multiple frequency bands.

NSN's head of network systems, Marc Rouanne, said that, while mobile data traffic was booming, the viability of the business has eluded most operators. "Service providers have become increasingly preoccupied with the associated high costs of data delivery versus the lag in expected revenues," Rouanne said. "Our study proves that success in mobile broadband can deliver efficiencies. Radio access networks can enable sustainable, cost-efficient broadband offerings to subscribers by leveraging existing base station sites to their fullest capacity."

However, the NSN study makes a number of assumptions. First, traffic is never equally distributed between sites. Typically during a busy hour 50 per cent of the traffic is carried by 15 per cent of the cells, with the majority of cells remaining under-utilised. Adding more users can, in effect, lead to a more equal traffic distribution between sites and a more profitable use of available capacity. Article