SINGAPORE: “India currently offers the lowest priced plan in ABI Research’s Mobile Internet Pricing Q4-2012 survey. India’s lowest priced mobile data plans decreased 29.4 percent year-on-year (YoY) compared to Q4-2011, when it ranked fourth,” said Marina Lu, research associate at ABI Research.
According to the survey, UAE currently has the most expensive Mobile Internet Pricing Plan: $ 67.8 for 5GB. There is considerable fluidity in mobile data tariffs—one year ago, Singapore had the cheapest Mobile Internet Tariffs, but it has since reduced its data caps while keeping the tariff pricing the same.
Comparing Mobile Internet Pricing between Q2-2012 and Q4-2012, 73 percent of countries have reduced the “effective cost” of their 4G tariffs to a significant degree. The effective cost, i.e. the “Dollar per Gigabyte basis” has dropped by 30 percent. In the US, most of the carriers took the route of keeping fees the same but have introduced larger data quotas. In Australia, Sweden, Japan, and Saudi Arabia the operators lowered the monthly fee but have kept data quotas unchanged.
“ABI Research is concerned that a number of operators have introduced 4G pricing plans at the same, or even lower, price points than 3G,” stated Jake Saunders, VP for forecasting. “In Norway, Telenor has introduced 4G tariffs that are cheaper than 3G. 4G is more spectrally efficient and can handle a lot of data but it’s important carriers take advantage of 4G to boost service revenues.”
One way this can be done is through “multi-device plans”, e.g. Verizon’s “Share Everything Plans” have helped to contribute to a net increase of 2.2 million subscribers in Q4-2012 and boost in part service revenues by 8.52 percent to $16,393 million.