Report: LTE pricing to plunge 60% by end of 2016

The pricing of LTE as a premium service will fall steadily over the next five years as more operators adopt the technology, according to a new study from Tariff Consultancy (TC). The consultancy expects LTE pricing to fall 60 per cent by the end of 2016 to around €20 per subscriber per month, while subscriber numbers are expected to grow to over 250 million.

The TC study said that LTE is currently being promoted as a high-performance mobile broadband service with average theoretical download speeds in excess of 80 Mbps. The most common download speed cited is 100Mbps, with one provider, Zain Saudi Arabia, claiming speeds of as high as 150Mbps in the downlink.

LTE data allowances are also much higher than current 3G tariffs, with 22GB per month being an average with Sweden's Tele2 offering 80GB per month. However, TC says that there is already evidence of LTE price erosion with Telstra in Australia having lowered its monthly subscription from €38 per month at launch, down to €30 per month now.

Singapore M1 is following this example by offering its NGMN equivalent LTE service to existing M1 customers with a 40 per cent discount off the monthly list price.

Margrit Sessions, the managing director of TC, said in a statement: "Although it is clear that LTE subscribers and revenues will grow substantially over the next 5 years, LTE mobile broadband services will start to adopt the same mass market characteristics of the existing fixed broadband and 3G mobile broadband services with increased speeds but price competition."

"The onus will be on the operators to bundle other services into their LTE offer and develop more compelling user-based applications and content services as well as simply providing large LTE mobile broadband access capacity," concluded Sessions.

For more:
- see this Tariff Consultancy press release

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