LTE: Will the price be right?
This week we've seen Verizon Wireless discussing alternative LTE pricing during an interview with the Wall Street Journal. It's clear that there are many options on the table. When we asked industry players about their views, one thing was quite conclusive. The overwhelming majority of respondents believed that flat rate data tariffs will not continue in a 4G world. What interested me most though as well about the WSJ piece was actually the comments on it. Some people are talking about service or speed guarantees. Others are suggesting about time of day tariffs. Others suggest that carriers go back to basics and concentrate on signal and service quality. Clearly a lot of users are concerned. Our report focuses on the revenue impact of positioning LTE as a premium service and we believe that certainly in the early years of deployments this is really the sweetspot for revenue generation. Consumer users - when they subscribe in significant quantities - are likely to see variations possibly based around the number of devices that they connect. There's the rub though for consumer users. The danger is that it only gets more complicated from here folks, as more and more devices are connected. Some clear customer communications will be necessary for the average user to understand the monthly cost of using their LTE enabled smartphone, laptop, tablet, netbook, music player - and this list is not complete of course. So whilst the number of connected devices increases, the danger is that so does the complexity of the tariffs if we're not careful.