"Operators in the US are looking to buy 4G mobile phones for USD 100. They are not there yet but they are heading in that direction... 18 months time should be reasonable to achieve it," Broadcom Mobile Senior Director (Mobile Platform Solutions) Michael Civiello said.
The 4G technology is nearly five-times faster than its predecessor 3G but handsets that work on this ultra fast service are costly.
The lowest priced 4G phone is available at around Rs 18,000 in India. However, most of such handsets cost above Rs 40,000. On the other hand, 3G phones have seen major price drop to as low as Rs 4,000 in the market.
Civiello said that the USD 100 4G devices will not come from big Tier I global brands. "It will come from some local brand or no brand company who is not putting any marketing dollar in phone,not putting any promotional campaign etc."
Talking about India, he said the price will depend on volumes and Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is the only company that has 4G spectrum in all telecom circles in the country, can play a key role in driving down the price of devices.
On rationale behind major drop in the price of 4G phones, he said that the initial cost of 4G technology component is high, but after development volumes drive down the cost of these components.
"The volumes are getting to a point where all components manufacturer whether display, battery, radio frequency module are reaching to a volume...if those volumes become better the price will come down," he said.
The Broadcom director feels that there may be a difference of USD 10 in price in India as 4G spectrum allocated to operators here is different from that in the US.