The majority of operators are planning to launch long term evolution (LTE) services within the next two years.

A survey of 528 industry respondents, conducted by Informa Telecoms & Media also found that 70% of operators believe now is the right time to launch LTE (4G) services.

33.7% of those planning to launch the service, will do so this year, 24.9% will do so next year and 70.5% believe there is a viable business case to launch the service today.

34.7% stated the creation of new revenue streams as a reason for launching, 23.3% indicated to increase capacity to offer mobile broadband services as a reason and 23.3% hope to build brand value through technology leadership.

“Because LTE technology, at the moment at least, is an extension of the mobile broadband experience, initial evidence suggests that mobile users aren’t prepared to pay a significant premium for LTE access,” says Paul Lambert, senior analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media.

“Most of the operators that have been successful in signing up LTE subscribers have decided not to charge a premium for 4G access, but instead are bundling it into existing data plans. When operators have done this, and effectively communicated the benefits 4G offers, market reaction has been very positive. This indicates that 4G should, in the first instance at least, be seen as a way to improve the overall mobile broadband experience rather than as a way to generate “new revenues”.”