The governments of the regions that have not yet rolled out LTE have to strike a balance between issuing LTE licences and not issuing LTE spectrum prematurely when operators are not ready, according to Juan Jose Rio.

Jose Rio, partner at Delta Partners and conference speaker at the CommunicAsia2014 Summit notes that LTE deployment will likely be more gradual in developing countries allowing for the influx of affordable devices.

Governments in Asia have to be prepared for LTE deployments in near future as findings from a major new Wireless Intelligence study indicate more than 120 million next-generation LTE users by 2015.

This increase is driven by key Asian markets such as China, Japan, Indonesia and South Korea. Singapore and other parts of the Asia Pacific will attain significant headway over the coming few years.

Few regions in Asia such as India and Thailand will take some time to match the speed of other nations as they are still in the process of rolling out 3G, with LTE network deployments.

Deployment on a selective basis

Jose Rio suggests selective deployment of LTE in urban areas and new 2G/3G deployments to be done with a certain level of future-proofing so that LTE can be rolled out easily when required.

Challenges around spectrum availability, in-building penetration and the ability to support a multi-dweller household make it difficult for LTE to be a high speed DSL/HFC/FTTX substitute in many nations.

Telcos in developing countries will find it difficult to charge more for higher speed offerings. These nations may also struggle with a lack of critical infrastructure and spectrum.

A right pricing framework to drive mobile data profitability would be the most critical factor for monetising successfully in Asia, says Jose Rio.

He adds that Telcos need a clear understanding of what changes are required to all touch-points along a customer's lifetime journey.