TeliaSonera to charge heavy premium for LTE

Having initially offered discounted rates to users wanting access to LTE data services, TeliaSonera believes it can now charge a hefty premium for the higher 4G speeds as it continues to ramp up its network deployment.

The company said that it will now charge 599 Swedish kronor (US$87) per month for new subscribers to its 'Total 4G' service that will provide access speeds of between 10Mbps and 80Mbps. This rate compares to 269 kronor for TeliaSonera's most expensive 3G subscription.

For existing 3G subscribers, the company is offering an upgrade to the Total 4G plan for 100 kronor per month, but not at full LTE speeds. Subscribers to its Mellan (Medium) package will be charged 299 kronor for speeds between 5Mbps and 10Mbps with 10GB of download data, while subscribers to Stor (Large) will pay 369 kronor for speeds between 10Mbps and 20Mbps and 20GB of data.

Erik Hallberg, head of mobility services at TeliaSonera, said that the company was also investigating how it could use and charge for the QoS features supported by LTE. The first offers would most likely be aimed at enterprises, said Hallberg, so as to provide them with same kind of software level agreements they currently have on fixed networks.

The TeliaSonera exec said that the Samsung GT-B3730 was the only multimode LTE USB modem currently available, although he expected other vendors to start shipping LTE modems early next year.

By the end of this year, TeliaSonera said it would be providing LTE coverage to 28 cities, and during 2011 the number should further increase to nearly 230.

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