• December 21st, 2011
  • Dafiq Hussein

It has been announced that prices of LTE services are to drop by 60% over the next five years. UK based pricing and tariff services analysis firm, Tariff Consultancy, have claimed that LTE mobile broadband is set to lose its premium tag by 2016.

Pricing and product information for LTE Mobile Broadband services was collated from 30 operators in 16 different countries, and Tariff Consultancy found that the average price worldwide for a top of the range service from LTE is currently €50 (£42) per month.

It is expected that this price will decline as more carriers worldwide take on the technology. In 2012 LTE networks in the Asia Pacific and South American regions are set to launch and so as LTE becomes a mass market service, it is expected that LTE pricing is to become more competitive.

By the end of 2016 it has been forecast that there will be over 250 million users of LTE mobile broadband services and that the average price per subscriber will have declined to around €20 (£16.70) per month. That represents a decrease of around 60% in LTE pricing over the five year period, and this will therefore save customers a lot of money each month.

Managing Director of Tariff Consultancy, Margrit Sessions, has commented: “Although it is clear that LTE subscribers and revenues will grow substantially over the next five 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.”

Ms Sessions went on to add that price erosion has already begun from selected LTE broadband providers. Telstra, the Australian operator, are currently offering its BigPond USB 4G mobile broadband product with an 8GB monthly data user allowance for, what works out to be, around £25 per month.

Ms Sessions added the following: “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.”

Those of us that have family abroad may use such technologies such as Skype along with other internet based webcams in order to contact friends and families abroad, however with prices around the world for LTE services looking to be declining, it may be better, and more viable now, to make cheap calls abroad instead of having to rely on an internet connection that could often become interrupted. I’ve tried it, and it does indeed become frustrating when trying to communicate with a loved one via webcam and it just simply will not work.

Perhaps LTE’s price decrease will spark other operators and providers to lower their mobile broadband prices too. In this unstable economy, anything is possible however!