LTE: Average user downloads 15GB a month, says TeliaSonera

Having launched its LTE network a year ago, TeliaSonera is reporting that its LTE subscribers are consuming nearly 3x the amount of data consumed by 3G users.

The company said that it was now in a position to accurately track the data consumption of its customers using either smartphones or dongles, and according to a presentation at the LTE Forum, TeliaSonera confirmed that its average smartphone user consumed 375MB per month of data. The average broadband subscriber on its network, largely using 3G data cards, consumed 5GB per month. However, the surprise came with the average LTE consumer--essentially all dongle users, downloading between 14GB and 15GB per month.

This level of usage, said a recent study conducted by Cisco, puts LTE consumption on a par with users of fixed networks, highlighting the question of the pressure LTE will have on cable and DSL providers in the future.

While TeliaSonera has reaped the benefits from being first with LTE in Scandinavia, two other operators have now launched LTE in Sweden and seem determined to spoil the incumbent's business model.

Swedish telcos, Tele2 and Telenor, are offering LTE services initially in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo and Karlskrona, with data download speeds between 20MB and 80MB. The services, which are being offered over the shared Net4Mobility network--a joint venture between the two firms, are based upon Huawei's dual-mode modem that provides access to both LTE and HSPA.

Both providers have published data tariffs that significantly undercut the LTE service offered by TeliaSonera today.

Given that the two new entrants share the same network, and therefore can offer no technical or network coverage differentiation, they can only compete on pricing--something the local telecoms regulator will need to ensure remains competitive.

For more:
- see this GigaOM article
- see this Telecom TV article

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