Price of 4G LTE: right now you pay 20% premium over 3G, but competition will push it down

Price of 4G LTE: right now you pay 20% premium over 3G, but competition will push it down
The arrival of 4G LTE networks with their high speeds matching and often even surpassing the speeds of your cable internet is a great thing, but as a novelty you are paying the tax for that. Right now, 4G is nearly 20% more expensive than an equivalent 3G plan, according to a report from ABI Research.

Still, the growing competition is expected to push prices down in the near future.

We’ve already seen the first changes in South Korea where SK Telecom had to increase data allowance for its $55 plan from 3GB to 5GB. Similar price and data allowance tunings have been made in Norway, Hong Kong and the United States.

Interestingly, right now 4G LTE is cheapest not in the United States, where it is most widespread, but in Hong Kong, which launched a 4G network in November last year.

Still, it’s clear that the nascent LTE is an opportunity carriers aren’t likely to miss.

"There will be a premium [for LTE]. The model with HSPA+ has made it clear that customers will pay," France Telecom's CEO Stephane Richard said. "We want to accelerate the LTE rollout in France in order to get ahead of the competition."

In a nutshell, prices will come down, and we have the first signs showing right now. The real question is how fast.

source: Fierce Wireless

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11 Comments

1. tedkord

Posts: 17133; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And Lowell the Liar told us the year before Verizon deployed LTE that it would be cheaper for Verizon to supply, and prices would be cheaper for customers.

2. vzwcooter

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

The year before that they didn't have the iPhone sucking the life out of the company's profits

5. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

I remember that statement every time I look at the price of Verizon's data plans. They are charging not on the margin, but what the market will bear -- fiduciarily responsible, but frustrating nonetheless

11. tuminatr

Posts: 1104; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

once they pay for the network the price will come down

3. shiftmobile

Posts: 10; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

There are no difference in data pricing on Verizon or AT&T between 3G and 4G. They are the same! Sprint charges $10 bump for having a 4G phone regardless of if you're in a 4G area.

4. laheelahee

Posts: 213; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

i thought they charged $10 for having a smartphone.. 3G/4G both?

6. chebner

Posts: 249; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Yes Sprint's $10 premium data charge for 4G changed to a premium data fee for any smartphone, 3G or 4G, quite some time ago. As a result all smartphones have a $10 monthly surcharge.

7. Beholder88

Posts: 86; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

I'd like to see the research numbers on this study, as pricing for a 3G data package is exactly the same as a 4G data package. Maybe it's because it's faster and people use more, and then are more likely to go over an allowance and incur overage?

8. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

4G LTE fast :P

9. DSmithee unregistered

And then there's Verizon--forcing unlimited calling on anyone who wants to sign up. Sorry, Big Red--I only need a few hundred minutes a month, and don't want to pay $100 a month before taxes for 2GB of data.

10. dragonstkdgirl

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 07, 2012

The old plans are still available in my system - ask a rep nicely and they might sign you up on an old plan.

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