Strategy Analytics: 4G LTE Moves Mainstream with Pricing Innovation

Pricing Strategies from Mobile Operators Target Profit and Market Share

Sep 19, 2013, 10:41 ET from Strategy Analytics

BOSTON, Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Strategy Analytics predicts that service pricing strategies for 4G LTE are poised for further innovation as competition heats up and LTE moves to the mass market. Strategy Analytics Wireless Operator Strategies (WOS) service report, Monetizing 4G LTE: Evolution of Pricing & Go-to-Market Strategies, evaluates best practices and upcoming trends from around the globe.

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"The LTE ecosystem is well underway, yet many operators are still struggling to capture a return on their network investments," notes Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director, Wireless Operators & Networks. "Mobile operators must adjust their pricing strategies in an IP-centric world where voice and text revenues are declining. They must package consumer-centric services that add value and generate revenue to monetize LTE."

"Past success is no guarantee of future success - especially as competitors accelerate LTE deployments and LTE-Advanced comes on the scene," cautions Phil Kendall, Director Wireless Operator Strategies. He adds, "Defenders need to respond to competitive threats not only with plans targeting the ultra-price sensitive but also with premium options for segments where they can add value and differentiate. LG U+ in South Korea has shown that LTE can be an effective tool for a challenger to gain market share and increase ARPU even in a competitive LTE environment. Deploying LTE alone does not guarantee revenue growth."

The report profiles the LTE pricing strategies of leading mobile operators, including SK Telecom, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Vodafone Germany and Vodafone Australia, KPN, Orange, SFR, EE and Bharti Airtel.  "In this report we contrast markets where LTE is pervasive to those where it is a premium service alongside 3G," comments Ms. Welsh de Grimaldo. The analysis includes evolutionary as well as innovative pricing plans, and key trends in LTE pricing approaches:

  • Multidevice plans with data bucket tiers
  • Streaming media and mobile video
  • Premium segment plans
  • Entry and mid-tier plans for more mainstream uptake, particularly with lower cost smartphones

The table highlights market developments and opportunities for these pricing approaches.


LTE Pricing Approach

Progress to Date

Multi-device plans with data bucket tiers to
encourage activation of mobile service for more
devices per person or family-especially tablets and to
monetize by moving up to larger buckets as people
use more data with the improved LTE experience

Good Progress in US; Opportunities in other
Shared data plans at AT&T and Verizon
Wireless, more recent introductions at Sprint and T-
Mobile US

•      Introduction of shared data in Vodafone Red plans

•      Telia in Sweden launched new plans

Streaming media and mobile video specific
approaches to video access beyond simple tiered
plans with varying data caps

Area ripe for more innovation in 2013-14

Early examples include:

•      C Spire in US

•      SK Telecom bundles

Premium Segment Plans  such as plans that deliver
Quality of Experience (QoE) and priority during
periods of congestion, bundle in streaming content
and provide speed promises

Area ripe for more innovation in 2013-14
True QoS still an area to exploit, particularly for
enterprise services

Early examples include:

•      Speed promises in Germany, Sweden

•      VAS bundles in SKT

Entry and mid-tier plans for more mainstream
uptake, particularly with lower cost LTE
 such as plans with small data allocation
for browsing or social network updates and ad hoc
add-ons for streaming media to help make base level
plans more affordable

Area ripe for more innovation in 2013-14

•      US is a prime example of market heating up for competition for LTE entry level/ mid–level, as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US target value segments for growth

•      Most European markets opportunity un-tapped to date, room for new approaches for entry tier LTE revenue generation


Service and pricing innovation will also play an important role for new LTE launches, as in the new networks of China – see the Strategy Analytics report, "Waiting for Starting Gun: Chinese Operators Prepare 4G Rollout."

Strategy Analytics experts will present a complimentary webinar on October 9 to explore a range of mobile operator LTE strategies and best practices around the globe. To participate in the webinar, please register at this link: 4G LTE Moves Mainstream: Strategies and Best Practices for LTE Success.

Strategy Analytics is also presenting on mobile data pricing initiatives in the forthcoming conference, Pricing Mobile Data, which takes places on 9th and 10th October at the Thistle March Arch, London.

About Strategy Analytics
Strategy Analytics, Inc. provides the competitive edge with advisory services, consulting and actionable market intelligence for emerging technology, mobile and wireless, digital consumer and automotive electronics companies. With offices in North America, Europe and Asia, Strategy Analytics delivers insights for enterprise success. 

US Contact: Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, +1 617 614 0724,

European Contact: Phil Kendall +44(0) 1908 423 600,

SOURCE Strategy Analytics