News: Omnitel, a Lithuanian mobile operator, intends on using its newly obtained 800MHz spectrum to enhance its 4G LTE footprint to about half of the population from 2014, TeleGeography reports. Omnitel, a subsidiary of TeliaSonera, was the winner of two chunks of frequency bands for which it paid LTL2.55mn (US$998,000) for each licence, a total of LTL5.1mn (US$2.0mn). Omnitel launched commercial LTE mobile broadband services in the 1800MHz frequency band in April 2011.
BMI View: Lithuania's mobile operators face considerable challenges in 2013 as they continue their 3G/3.5G network buildouts and begin developing their 4G networks and encouraging customers to switch to postpaid and mobile broadband services. Usage of non-voice services - which will be key to growing revenues - remains muted, owing to pressures on consumer spending as well as the near ubiquity of higher-capacity fixed broadband services. There is, however, growing interest in multi-play packages and operators that offer mobile as part of those packages should do well. However, current scenarios suggest continued ARPU erosion for at least another three years and operators may be justified in considering where and when to invest in 4G.