LTE pricing packages: whatever works

19 Sep 2012

When it comes to LTE, operators are trying all different kinds of service packages to add value beyond the monthly subscription fee, as the opening session of LTE Asia 2012 demonstrated.

Senior execs from CSL, NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom and StarHub were asked during the morning panel session that kicked off the event about their package strategies for LTE.

CSL chief technology officer Christian Daignault pointed to the company’s volumetric plans and family packages that allow multiple devices to be bundled under a single monthly package, but added that unlimited plans still exist in Hong Kong for the time being.

Sadayuki Abeta, director of the Radio Access Network Department at NTT DoCoMo, said Xi packages are constructed mainly around speed – the more you pay, the faster your connection.

Choi jin-sung, senior VP and head of technology strategy for SK Telecom, said his company is banking on content bundles to make its tiered packages more attractive. “When you buy a certain level plan, you get certain content services free of charge, such as videos, music, e-books and games. That helped us boost our LTE subscriber base in the early stage.”

StarHub – whose LTE service goes live today, albeit just in the Central Business District (CBD), Changi Airport and the Singapore Expo – is offering LTE mainly as a “speed boost” value added service for its existing service (and it will be offered for free until the end of the year).

However, StarHub CTO Mock Pak Lum said the company was looking at differentiating pricing at the application level. “Maybe down the road we can charge by the app – we’re exploring that.”

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