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Early examples of LTE pricing in Europe relatively affordable

Photograph of Alastair BrydonIn his wireless blog, Alastair Brydon reviews early examples of LTE pricing, in Denmark, Germany and Sweden.

Now that a number of European LTE services have been launched, I’ve reviewed the early pricing models being adopted in three countries. The table below shows the current LTE pricing charged by Telia (Denmark), Telia (Sweden) and Vodafone (Germany).

The most expensive LTE tariffs are charged at similar level in all three countries – between EUR53.50 and EUR67.12. These services provide download speeds up to 50-80Mbps, with a 30GB monthly data allowance. While these prices are higher than equivalent so-called ‘superfast’ fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) fixed broadband services, there is not a huge price premium.

These tariffs correspond to a minimum price per gigabyte that varies between EUR1.78 (in Denmark for a 30GB data allowance) and EUR2.67 (in Germany for a 15GB data allowance). The price per GB is generally lower than most HSPA mobile broadband services, where operators provide significantly lower monthly allowances in general. For example, in the UK, where mobile network operators are facing significant capacity challenges, O2 now offers just a single HSPA mobile broadband service, with a 1GB monthly allowance for £10.21, which corresponds to a price per GB of EUR11.49. This is around five times greater than the price per GB of these LTE services.

As with superfast fixed broadband services in Europe, mobile operators are pricing according to both the monthly data allowance and the speed of the service, with the highest speeds reserved for customers on the most expensive tariffs.

Prices are much more affordable for customers willing to accept lower levels of performance and a lower monthly data allowance, with services offering up to about 20Mbps download speed costing around EUR40 per month in all three countries.

Table of price, data allowance, price per GB and service speeds for early LTE services in Denmark, Germany and Sweden

LTE Pricing in Denmark, Germany and Sweden

[Note that the price per GB applies only if the
customer consumes the entire monthly allowance.]

Dr Alastair Brydon has worked in digital radio communications for over 25 years. He provides expert advice on 2G, 3G and 4G mobile systems and standards including GSM, UMTS and LTE. He has written over 40 reports on the development of wireless technologies and services and has acted as an expert witness in major patent disputes.

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