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LTE: better for your customers, better for your bottom line

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Category: 4G LTE, Business models, Deployment, Featured Articles, Infographics


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A number of our recent Wilson Street blogs have focused on the many technical and business case elements of LTE – faster speeds, a higher performing network, enhanced user experience, greater capacity and so on – but there is also a compelling financial imperative for making the move to LTE now.

The demand for LTE is in place already – 30 per cent of smartphones sold in North America are LTE-enabled, demonstrating that consumers want faster mobile broadband now. More mobile data is being used than ever before, at an annual capacity increase rate of 30 times per year – and this figure continues to rise.

So as a mobile operator you now know that your customer base wants increased network capacity, greater coverage and faster speeds – but now you can also make the in-house financial case for deploying LTE immediately. Your company CFO can sometimes take some convincing to loosen the purse strings to spend on a new technology or solution – and our latest infographic shows how investing in LTE now has a positive impact on your bottom line both now and in the long-term.

New network, new savings, new revenues

The fact is that LTE end-users spend more money than 3G users do - $43 per month average revenue per user (ARPU) compared to $31 per month on 3G. LTE users also use much more data – around ten times as much as users on 3G do. So by deploying LTE now you are able to help your business both coming and going – increased revenues like these plus the cost efficiencies that LTE delivers help your organization’s bottom line right from the get-go.

LTE overlay offers the direct route to these cost efficiencies when deploying your LTE service, and 75 per cent of mobile operators are now choosing LTE overlay for their rollouts. The financial case for getting LTE to market fast is clear, but the cost efficiency argument is also persuasive – using LTE overlay means a total deployment cost saving of 48 per cent over converged RAN.

While your customers are using more and spending more, you can also give them a better mobile quality of experience for less, keeping them happy and on your network, but not breaking the bank. Utilize a mix of small cells alongside macro cells in your network and you can deliver more – macro cells for larger coverage areas plus small cells in local hotspots means greater targeted LTE capacity with lower set-up (CAPEX) and running costs (OPEX). Using macro cells and small cells rather than just macro cells alone equates to a 31 per cent saving – a significant figure in anyone’s language.

You can lower costs further still and again enhance the service you deliver to customers by deploying voice over LTE (VoLTE). VoLTE lets you enjoy lower network costs versus the traditional Circuit Switched FallBack (CSFB) solution – 71 per cent lower in fact – and according to research from Senza Fili Consulting, giving customers VoLTE instead of CSFB works out at a saving of 88 cents per subscriber. A far higher quality voice service at a greatly reduced cost to you – again, what’s not to love?

Move now, save now and in the future

Deploying LTE now means huge savings in both the short and long terms. The massive leap in mobile data usage by your subscribers is made more cost-effective via LTE – get your network moved over to LTE early, use small cells to densify it and later make the shift to a virtualized RAN infrastructure, and you immediately begin to enjoy lower cost per bit.  Overall the saving is a massive 57 per cent lower cost per bit than continuing to densify the 3G network with a later LTE deployment.

LTE Express Infographic 4 Cost Efficiency

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