Operators are pricing 4G data on average 20% higher than 3G, but there are signs that competitive forces are already starting to pressure 4G tariffs, new research shows.
A report from ABI Research shows that pricing pressure is already emerging in early-adopter LTE markets such as South Korea.
SK Telecom has already effectively cut 4G data prices – for example by including an extra 2GB in its $55 LTE 62 plan – in response to competition from rivals.
“ABI Research has seen similar 4G mobile data quota and/or pricing revisions in Norway, Hong Kong, and the US,” ABI Research VP for forecasting Jake Saunders said.
The report also shows that CSL in Hong Kong currently offers the world's cheapest LTE data plan, while Singapore's M1 has the cheapest 3G data plan at under $10 for 4GB.
Operators pursuing early forays into VoLTE, such as SK Telecom and LG Uplus have not been pricing LTE voice at a premium compared to circuit switched mobile voice services.
But ABI Research still expects the higher fidelity achievable through the technology to potentially help operators overcome the protracted decline in voice-related ARPU.