Mobile operator Bite Lithuania has launched its first ‘unlimited’ mobile broadband internet tariff plan for the consumer market. On sale from 9 January, the new ‘Numeris 1’ plan is a 24-month contract offer and costs EUR19 (USD22.4) per month. The launch means that Bite has levelled the playing field where it concerns residential users; until now it has only offered unlimited mobile data plans to Lithuanian business users.
Commenting on the launch, Bite CEO Fred Hrenchukas said: ‘We can safely say that last year was the year of mobile internet. The vast majority of the equipment purchased from us consisted of smartphones, while the average consumption of mobile internet data in 2014 per user increased by more than 150% to almost 1GB per month, and will grow even further. So, offering unlimited mobile internet is a logical step to remove the need for customers to keep track of their data usage.’ According to Hrenchukas, demand for unlimited mobile internet access will become even more important this year, as Bite is planning to launch a 4G/4G+ network at the end of the first quarter. The most recent data from the telecoms watchdog, Communications Regulatory Authority (RRT), highlights the fact that by Q3 2014 Lithuania was home to about two million mobile internet subscribers, who collectively sent more than 5.2TB of data – up 52.5% year-on-year.
Telegeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that last month, Bite announced the completion of phase two of its 3G network development programme, which saw coverage increased in rural areas across the country. The cellco installed additional base stations, carried out a software update and expanded network capacity, boosting 3G network coverage to 95%-97% of the territory. In August 2014 Bite revealed plans to invest around EUR50 million over the next few years in the deployment of an LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network. Services will be rolled out in the cities of Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai and Panevezys from spring 2015, enabling customers to access the internet at data rates of up to 300Mbps.