CSL Hong Kong offers cheapest 4G data plan, Singapore has the lowest 3G tariff
Interestingly, both these nations are in Asia.
India is one of the countries which offer the lowest 2G tariffs in the world. But India does not find a place in the case of 3G and 4G. Both segments are currently undergoing downward revisions in the Indian mobile broadband market.
4G data tariff is around 20 percent higher than 3G at present. The difference in pricing is important for telecom operators to attract customers to high speed mobile broadband.
Analysts are predicting that 4G tariffs will succumb to the downward pull of competition soon.
In South Korea, SK Telecom has slashed its 4G pricing to remain competitive. Their LTE 62 Plan for smartphones used to be priced $55.04 for 3 GB of data, but the monthly download quota has now been increased to 5 GB.
ABI Research has seen similar 4G mobile data quota and/or pricing revisions in Norway, Hong Kong, and the US.
CSL Hong Kong launched its 4G service in November 2011.
For 3G mobile data, the lowest tariff can be found in Singapore. Singapore’s M1 offers a 4 GB data plan for $9.62, according to ABI Research.
As 4G devices come down in price, operators will be keen to increase 4G market-share. Cutting tariffs, or boosting data quotas, will be tempting but they need to make sure they achieve greater overall returns.
Voice tariffs are benefiting from LTE. Operators are rolling out voice over LTE (VoLTE). The higher fidelity offered by VoLTE could help overcome the decline in voice-related ARPU. However, VoLTE is not being priced at a premium over existing circuit switched mobile voice services.
Mobile carriers have seen voice ARPU’s decline year-over-year for the last 5 years. Previously, messaging had been seen as the silver bullet to stabilize falling revenues but this segment has been commoditized much in the same way as voice. Mobile Internet data is one opportunity for the carriers to stabilize their revenue outlook through the offering of innovative data centric services.