4G LTE revenues predicted to hit US$340bn by 2017

13 Feb 2013

Mobile operators are set to record revenues of up to US$340bn by 2017, which will represent more than 31pc of total service revenues across 2G, 3G and 4G networks worldwide.

However, with the increased penetration of LTE-capable smartphones and other connected devices, mobile network operators (MNOs) will need to develop clear pricing strategies to transition customers.

“Overall they will have to present customers with innovative services that will meet users’ requirements and, crucially, that users will attach value to. Operators will have to review their tariff structures to balance the need to monetise the greatly increased data throughput, yet still offer attractive packages,” added report author Nitin Bhas.

With spectrum auctions completed in Ireland and under way in the UK, EE felt obliged to cut down its initial LTE pricing by about 14pc within weeks of its network launch while Three UK has already announced 4G access at no extra cost.

‘Twin issues’ related to spectrum

With the twin spectrum issues – timing of availability and the cost of the spectrum – playing pivotal roles in deciding the speed of LTE rollouts (as has happened in the US and the UK), 4G LTE can represent a substantial investment that will take several years to recoup.

This is however, critical, bearing in mind that at the outset only a comparatively small number of subscribers will be LTE-capable.

Juniper also forecast that the vast majority of LTE revenues (almost 70pc) will be generated by North American and Far Eastern & China markets.  

While LTE consumer subscribers will exceed enterprise in 2015, the consumer segment will only account for fewer than half of total revenues.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years