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LTE operators adopt next-generation pricing models

How tariffs are evolving to maximise revenues from high-speed networks

Our latest report — LTE operators adopt next-generation pricing models — is now available for download.

There are currently 88 cellular operators providing commercial LTE services worldwide. Based on our survey of 65 of those operators, almost half of them have used the deployment of LTE as an opportunity to introduce a new form of pricing for mobile broadband services. This new strategy, which supersedes the earlier unlimited data model, uses download/upload speeds as well as data allowances to differentiate on price, allowing operators to make more efficient use of their high-speed network capacity in terms of generating revenues and preserving margins.

In addition, these innovative mobile broadband pricing models have been developed in line with mobile operators’ rationalisation of their device portfolios in mature markets. The speed-based tariffs are most common in Europe, where 90% of operators surveyed offer them (based on data accurate at the end of July 2012). These tariffs are less popular across the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa, and least prevalent in North and Latin America where they are yet to emerge.

Monthly tariff versus speed for European operators (linear average)

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