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LTE in the USA

  • October 2014
  • -
  • IDATE

Reaching mass market in 2014

The USA is one of the most advanced LTE markets in the world in terms of subscribers, coverage, technology upgrades.
Our estimates for LTE subscriptions in December 2013, based on the data from our LTE Watch service, indicate 300 million subscriptions at year-end 2018.
This report presents the deployment status of LTE in the USA and player strategies to reposition the LTE wireless business model.

Table Of Contents

LTE in the USA
Contents
1. Executive Summary 5
2. Methodology 6
3. LTE market status in the USA 8
3.1. Several major factors are pulling the US LTE ecosystem 8
3.2. Deployment status ... 9
3.2.1. Subscriber numbers and forecasts. 9
3.2.2. Population coverage. 10
3.2.3. LTE theoretical and commercial speeds .. 11
3.2.4. LTE ARPU and churn... 12
4. Player LTE strategies 14
4.1. Pricing strategies ... 14
4.1.1. Upgrade plans.. 14
4.1.2. Evolve towards volume-based tiered pricing (the end of unlimited data plans) 15
4.1.3. Push network prioritisation (or data throttling practices)... 15
4.1.4. Push alternative financing with content providers (toll-free plans) 15
4.2. Device strategies 16
4.2.1. Introduce shared plans. 16
4.2.2. Decoupling the device from the service 17
4.2.3. Handset upgrades and device leasing . 18
4.2.4. Access to hotspots ... 18
4.3. Service strategies... 19
4.3.1. Content strategies 19
4.3.2. Plans to increase ARPU/ARPA 21
4.3.3. Connected car.. 21
4.3.4. In-flight connectivity.. 23
4.3.5. eMBMS/ LTE Broadcast... 24
4.3.6. LTE fixed broadband 24
4.4. Network strategies: investment, spectrum, technologies .. 25
4.4.1. Investment issues. 25
4.4.2. Spectrum issues... 29

Tables and Figures
Figure 1: LTE subscriptions growth in the USA 9
Figure 2: LTE market shares in the USA, December 2013 . 10
Figure 3: Population coverage for the four main US players at four different times 11
Figure 4: LTE speeds according to T-Mobile .. 11
Figure 5: Viewdini application . 19
Figure 6: The Simple Choice plan by T-Mobile ... 20
Figure 7: Possible services for connected cars... 22
Figure 8: The new value proposition of share data plan ATandT from summer 2014 23
Figure 9: Verizon 4G LTE Broadband Router with Voice 25
Figure 10: Total wireless capex/wireless revenues for the four main US MNOs over the last two years .. 26
Figure 11: Data speed improvement resulting from Sprint tri-band LTE network.. 27
Figure 12: New 700 MHz Block A licenses resulting from the purchase of spectrum to Verizon .. 28
Figure 13: The 700 MHz band in the USA 31
Figure 14: Initial proposal for 5 GHz band extension modified with the April 2014 decision . 33
*****
Table 1: Population coverage for the four main US players at four different times 10
Table 2: LTE theoretical and commercial speeds .. 11
Table 3: Selective key KPI for the four main US players ... 12
Table 4: Overview of family/shared plans for Tier 1 US players: 10 GB data included, four lines . 17
Table 5: Verizon Wireless cloud storage offer ... 20
Table 6: Home Fusion tariffs from Verizon Wireless.. 24
Table 7: AWS-3 spectrum planned arrangements . 31

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