Vodafone Germany to charge premium for LTE smartphone access

When Vodafone Germany launches the country's first LTE smartphone in the coming weeks the operator will also charge a €10 premium for using the service as part of its two most expensive data packages.

According to Heise Online, Vodafone Germany CEO Friedrich Joussen said that the new LTE handset will become available next month and be initially offered with either a 20Mbps or 50Mbps download speed. However, the company, which already has over 100,000 subscribers to its LTE service using USB modems, plans to add an extra €10 per month for customers who want to use service via the handset.

Earlier, Joussen told Bloomberg that he was confident that Europe's largest mobile market would resume growth after years of stagnation as LTE was introduced across Germany. "Data growth will be so dramatic that, despite all the discussion about termination charges and despite the competition, this will once again be a big and well-off growth market," Joussen said, according to Bloomberg.

Vodafone Germany has said that around 90 per cent of Germany's population should have access to its wireless broadband service by the end of this year, based upon the existing network being upgraded to 3G/HSPA and LTE.

Separately, Germany's Federal Network Agency (BNA) has said it will decide on re-issuing GSM spectrum in 2013, ahead of the expiration of licences in 2016.

Mobile operators say that this planned reallocation is unnecessary. Vodafone Germany and Deutsche Telekom say they are favour of an extension of the licences, while E-Plus said it would agree to a small re-distribution. Markus Haas, managing director of corporate and legal affairs at Telefonica Germany, said that a decision should be made in two years, when operators can better understand the success of LTE.

For more:
- see this Heise Online article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Telecom Paper article (sub. req.)
- see this separate Telecom Paper article (sub. req.)

Related Articles:
Vodafone Germany to launch HTC Velocity, first German LTE smartphone
Telefónica in talks to share German backhaul network
Vodafone Germany to use LTE for HDTV launch
Vodafone Germany looks to migrate its DSL customers to LTE
Vodafone Germany inks fibre backhaul deal for LTE deployment
Vodafone Germany favors LTE over fixed-line broadband