China Mobile which is will be the biggest TD LTE player in the world has announced the target of 100 million TD LTE devices sale by 2013 of which 85 per cent is expected to be smartphones. This will invariably lead to reduction in prices of LTE devices as economies of scale comes into the picture.
With large scale deployment of TD LTE network in India by mid next year as is planned by Reliance Industries, Aircel, Tikona Wireless and Airtel, this is welcome news for people in India who will get better choice at affordable price at the very beginning of the launch of the 4G networks.
Further, the cost of 4G services is expected to be cheaper than 3G. For example, Tikona has already said that per MB price on 4G networks will be just 2 to 10 paise, while 3G realisation (average price that operator gets) by Airtel is more than 50 paise. This means that data costs of 4G services are expected to be cheaper by 5 times than 3G.
However, the price of device right now is a cause of concern as Airtel sells the 4G dongles in Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune at Rs 4,999 which is very costly compared to average price of Rs 1,500 for a 3G dongle.
Reliance which is the only PAN India 4G player, is expected to bring the device prices down dramatically and with China Mobile targets it will be easier for this new operator to achieve that.
It is expected that there will be very little to no difference in prices of 3G and 4G devices when all the networks are rolled-out by the these operators. Already chipset players like Qualcomm, MediaTek have announced affordable TD LTE chipsets which will further help in reduction of prices of these devices.