LTE is spreading across the globe. Yet Mobile Service Providers still have to figure out how to best leverage the speed and capacity that LTE brings to create value for their customers – not to mention how best to generate more revenue.
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Facing the Challenge of Monetizing LTE
According to a recent GSA report, across the globe there are now somewhere around 200+ commercial LTE networks in operation in more than 80 countries. In the past, I’ve written about examples of where Mobile Service Providers, certainly in Europe, are looking to take advantages of the bandwidth management techniques within LTE. They are using these techniques to market their Mobile data services – specifically, where they market their service on speed and quality, rather than straight consumption.
Read: Introducing LTE Direct
Indeed, a recent survey by Openet Research showed that almost 90% of operators are offering or wish to offer speed tiers to their customer base, but not all currently have the capability to do so. As an example, some operators like 3 UK intend to launch LTE at no extra cost to customers, whereas others are charging a premium for LTE speeds.
LTE and Roaming
Another aspect to LTE data service is of course roaming. T-Mobile US has introduced an offer of unlimited data use to their customers while roaming outside of their network. However, the speed is limited to 128Kbit/s. The aim here is to upsell “speed packs” when higher speed is required.
These types of plans are, of course, subject to fair usage rules. But this approach is very attractive to customers. At the same time, it enables T-Mobile US, like a lot of Mobile Service Providers, to also continue to drive roaming revenues while maximizing its LTE investment. This may be an interesting approach in the context of Europe, where not only have roaming charges been dramatically reduced, but the abolition of roaming charges altogether is already under discussion.
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