Posted: October 13, 2014

The latest edition of the unique TCL Global LTE Pricing Tariff Tracker subscription service, which covers the period for the 3rd Quarter of 2014, highlights the five new pricing trends being introduced by MNOs around the world as the market for high speed LTE 4G services begins to reach maturity.

The latest edition of the TCL Global LTE Pricing Tariff Tracker subscription service includes LTE 4G pricing from more MNOs than ever before. It now has pricing from 151 MNOs in 80 countries ((n1) see at the bottom of the press release for coverage).  The 3rd quarter 2014 edition includes pricing for recently launched LTE 4G services from the two Chinese operator China Telecom, China Unicom and Algerie Telecom, in the TCL Global LTE Pricing Tariff Tracker creating a unique guide to LTE 4G deployments worldwide.

From the LTE 4G pricing shown in the 3rd Quarter of 2014, TCL has been able to identify the following five key tariff trends:

  1. The continued development of new Pre Pay LTE 4G pricing – New Pre Pay LTE 4G services are being introduced. Everything Everywhere (EE) in the UK has introduced a Pre Pay EE 4G product for GBP £1 (Euro 1.27) per week coming in two variations either 25 minutes and 50 SMS or 100 MB, 10 minutes and 10 SMS. 25 minutes plus 50 SMS, or 100MB of data plus 10 minutes plus 10 texts. Also, Vodafone (UK) has also modified its Pre Pay 4G Freedom Freebie Packs, including the following tariffs:

        Figure 1 – A table showing the new Vodafone Pre Pay 4G Freedom Freebie Packs

Vodafone UK Data allowance Other allowances
Freedom Freebie Packs GBP 20 (Euro 25.45)

2 GB

500 UK minutes, unlimited UK SMS & 200 reward points
Red Freedom Freebie Packs GBP 30 (Euro 38.18)

4 GB

Unlimited UK minutes, unlimited UK SMS & 300 reward points
Red Freedom Freebie Packs GBP 40 (Euro 50.90)

6 GB

Unlimited UK minutes, unlimited UK SMS & 300 reward points

The GBP 30 and GBP 40 Vodafone Freedom FreebiePacks (4 GB & 6 GB) also include a choice of either Spotify music streaming service or the Sky Sports Mobile TV service.

  1. The introduction of new entry level LTE 4G plans – Lower LTE 4G entry level pricing is being introduced. 3 (Denmark) offers an entry level rate of DK 79 (Euro 10.61 per month for 300 MB of data, 60 minutes and unlimited SMS/MMS in the 3 network. In Lebanon the two MNOs (Alfa and Touch) both offer an entry-level tariff of 500 MB per month for USD 11 (Euro 8.38) per month.
  1. The introduction of new “add on” LTE 4G services – Selected MNOs are offering a low cost add-on option for LTE 4G access. Examples include TIM (Italy) 4G Internet Plus, with LTE 4G speed available and for smartphone PC and tablet users for Euro 5 per month including 200 GB of TIM Cloud and Post Luxembourg with its Speed Boost available for smartphones, sticks and tablets for Euro 10 per month.
  1. The introduction of LTE 4G access across all plans – Selected MNOs are now introducing LTE 4G services as standard across all plans, with Belgacom (now called Proximus – Belgium) offering LTE 4G services across all Mobile Data plans, with some offering a speed of up to 25 Mbit/s and some up to 129 Mbit/s.
  1. An increase in LTE 4G data allowances – MNOs are increasing their data allowances in selected markets. Touch (Lebanon) has introduced a 1.5 GB data allowance (increased from 700 MB) for USD 19 per month and a top of the range 60 GB data allowance (increased from 30 GB) for USD 149 per month.

The latest edition of the TCL Global LTE Pricing Tariff Tracker also shows the spread of LTE 4G Smartphone pricing.

The highest LTE 4G Smartphone pricing ranges from Euro 317.89 per month (AT&T – USA), with the highest priced Smartphone LTE 4G packages – including tax (n2) – shown in the bar chart by TCL below:

Figure 2 – A bar chart showing the highest priced Smartphone LTE 4G packages worldwide

 

Cost per month in Euros incl. tax

AT&T USA

285 (n1)

Vodafone Germany

200

Cosmote Greece

200

Claro Brazil

183

Sprint USA

171 (n1)

NTT DoCoMo Japan

164

Zain Kuwait

153

Ooredoo Qatar

151

SFR France

150

Swisscom Switzerland

140

Movistar Peru

132

Source – TCL. (n1) Price excludes tax.

To protect their premium price point AT&T (USA) for example, includes 100 Mbit/s access speed, a 50 GB data allowance, unlimited international messaging (to selected countries) and 50 GB of cloud storage and shared voice & messaging usage among registered family members.

Increasingly, MNOs are also introducing higher speed access LTE 4G services across all of their products. For example, Vodafone (Portugal) has introduced a 150 Mbit/s download access speed as standard across all of its services, as shown in the table below:

Figure 3 – A table showing Vodafone Portugal Vodafone On pricing

 

Data allowance

Euro per month

Vodafone On

1 GB

12.49

Vodafone On

6 GB

20.99

Vodafone On

15 GB

29.99

Vodafone On

30 GB

39.99

Source – TCL. Prices include tax.

And MNOs are using the bundling of content to differentiate their LTE 4G services, and are increasingly including content bundles (such as TV content or music content) on top of the bundles of calls, SMS & mobile data.

As the number of LTE 4G services offered become more common, there is little differentiation by download speed or the standard bundles of SMS, calls and data allowance. MNOs are offering new bundles of content and value added services with LTE 4G services as MNOs seek to differentiate their services by a range of additional services.

Rather than differentiate their LTE 4G service by speed or data allowance, MNOs are introducing extra content bundles to protect a premium price point. This trend has also been highlighted in the recently published TCL Tariff Trends SnapShot 40 – Pricing for QoS and Bundling subscription service – with some examples of added value service bundles shown in the graphic below:

Figure 4 – A graphic showing the types of additional services that are being bundled in with an LTE 4G package

Source – TCL (from the TCL Tariff SnapShot no. 40 – Pricing for QoS & Bundling)

As the majority of MNOs are now offering LTE 4G with the same access speed across all customer segments, the MNO has to differentiate its service package through additional bundles – including extra bundles of content, mobile insurance, international calls, international roaming, shared data across devices and additional SIM cards to support a premium price point.

In short, all MNOs offering LTE 4G services need to be aware of the key five tariff trends identified by TCL and decide which pricing strategy to adopt when marketing their 4G service.

About the TCL Global LTE Price Tariff Tracker subscription service – The TCL Global LTE Price Tariff Tracker subscription service is published 4 times a year and contains a PDF overview of the main changes in LTE 4G tariffs over the last Quarter period and an excel spreadsheet of LTE 4G tariffs detailing rates from 151 MNOs in 80 countries worldwide. It provides pricing with or without taxes in USD, Euro or local currencies. Users of the Tariff Tracker service can search the database by a number of factors including by operator, region, country, access speed or pricing. More information about the TCL Global LTE Price Tariff Tracker subscription service can be found on the TCL website at: 4G-Market.com.

Figure 1 – A table showing a breakdown of the LTE 4G MNOs in the TCL Pricing Tariff Tracker by geographical region

 

NO. OF COUNTRIES

NO. OF MNOS

EU

25

60

NON EU

6

10

MIDDLE EAST

9

14

ASIA PACIFIC

10

24

AFRICA

10

13

AMERICAS

20

30

TOTAL

80

151

Source – TCL.

About Tariff Consultancy Ltd (TCL) – TCL is a London-based international telecoms tariff consultancy and research organization providing services and advice worldwide. TCL provides a number of Tariff Tracker subscription services using its unique database of global telecoms pricing including the TCL Global LTE Tariff Tracker, the TCL Global Roaming Tracker, the TCL Mobile Broadband/Mobile Internet 3G/4G Tariff Tracker & the TCL Tariff SnapShot subscription service. TCL also provides reports and consultancy services. More information about TCL can be found on the TCL website at: 4G-Market.com.

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