Vendor Highlight

Mobile Broadband Boost

As the demand for a smooth and seamless integration of Wi-Fi access becomes increasingly important part for the mobile broadband service, Ericsson has announced its 3GPP compliant Wi-Fi network access, control and management solutions.

Read more ...

Expert Talk

Securing Utilities Infrastructure

As a highly critical sector, the oil and gas infrastructure should be one of the most secure, both physically and digitally. This is not the case.

Read more ...


In 2010, data revenues accounted for 11% of recurring revenues on average for mobile operators in developing countries, according to analyst firm Wireless Intelligence. Furthermore, 3G connections only contribute 16% of total regional connections - even though two thirds of developing countries have some type of 3G network - suggesting that large investments are still required to fulfil market potential.


Over the first half of 2011, data usage in emerging markets was predominantly based on messaging services, highlighting the long-term challenge that LTE network operators face. In many developing economies, mobile operators have the choice to leapfrog potential HSPA or EV-DO deployments and directly focus on LTE services.


However, such scenarios are often hindered by the lack of spectrum harmonisation and the high cost of LTE devices in unsubsidised markets, says Wireless Intelligence. This situation is particularly concerning in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China), which generated 41% of total revenues in the developing world last year and are expected to overtake the USA in terms of total combined revenue in 2012.

With an average retail price of US$500, the cost of an LTE smartphone is four times the average monthly GDP per capita in India, US$150 higher than that of China and two-thirds that of both Brazil and Russia. At an average of US$200, the retail price of an LTE USB dongle is twice an Indian’s monthly income on average, or half that of a Chinese citizen or a quarter that of Brazilians and Russians.

The premium charged for LTE mobile broadband services – whether based on tiered or unlimited tariff models – is further exacerbating these discrepancies. In developing countries, spectrum fragmentation and the prohibitive cost of LTE devices are likely to act as growth hurdles over the next five years until economies of scale are reached and affordability can be introduced at a mass market level. In the interim, mobile operators will need to keep educating consumers on the benefits of mobile broadband services based on existing 3G technologies.

---- Wireless Intelligence

You have no rights to post comments