Head of the radio technologies & spectrum practice, IDATE
Expectations and forecasts of the future orientations of the mobile broadband market
Through the analysis of global leading telcos LTE pricing strategies, our team of IDATE analysts have identified four main trends happening in Q1 2013: Multi-device connectivity strategies, Emergence of new high-speed data services, A greater and manageable quality of service resulting in new price plans and the apparition of LTE Advanced, a faster and less costly band for operators.
Multi Device Strategies
Introduced by Verizon Wireless through its shared dataplans, not only is it very successful but also represents a huge opportunity to leverage its LTE network in the long term with two growth opportunities:
- Data consumption growth introduced by the incentive of using “big screen” devices such as tablets, laptops and connected TV’s for HD video watching. The more devices there are, the more data will be consumed and it will make more subscribers to upgrade to larger data cap plans
- Multi-platform approach supporting the new ‘content everywhere’ trend and allowing services ubiquity: a Netflix subscriber can watch the beginning of a video on his mobile and finish it on his tablet or laptop, starting where he left off, with a unique account.
LTE major runners strategic positionning
High-Speed data services
LTE allows developing new services that require a large data bandwidth and that could not exist with 3G: some already existed with fixed broadband (HD VoD, cloud services) and some are dedicated to mobile usages (Rich Communications Suite and car black box among the latter). Moreover telcos are starting to propose LTE services so as to counter OTT (over the top) services.
These services are either free or available through additional monthly subscription. Moreover, the Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service will allow new video services without the need of a specific frequency layer.
A greater and manageable quality of service
Quality of service is the most important LTE innovation as it can be managed from end to end on a mobile network. Classes of priority can be created and managed allowing Swisscom to segment their offer not by data usage but by bandwidth, which stresses the need of consistent quality over the totality of the network. For example when 100 Mbps are advertised clients are less prone to accept irregularities.
Korean operators expect to launch LTE-Advanced by mid-2013, this is the new generation of LTE. Its spectral efficiency is four to five times greater than 3G where LTE is only 3 times greater. This implies that the cost per MB will fall for operators and will orient strategies towards higher or ultimately unlimited data caps and rate plans differentiated trough quality of service.
LTE Revenue Forecast (by Region, in million EUR)
Source : Digiworld by IDATE
Head of Mobile & Spectrum Practice at IDATE