TeliaSonera Tips Hat to Mobile Data Caps

In Sweden, mobile data packages for USB dongles include 179 Swedish kronor (US$25) per month for up to 5 Gbytes per month; 229 Swedish kronor ($32) per month for up to 10 Gbytes; and 319 Swedish kronor ($44) for up to 20 Gbytes.

For Long Term Evolution (LTE) dongle users -- since TeliaSonera is in fact the world's first operator to launch LTE services -- there is a package for up to 30 Gbytes for 599 Swedish kronor ($84) per month, which is now on special offer for just 4 Swedish kronor (that's less than a dollar) per month. (See MWC 2010: TeliaSonera's LTE Progress, TeliaSonera First to Go Live With LTE, TeliaSonera Prices First LTE Offer, and NSN Replaces Huawei in Euro LTE Rollout.)

When customers approach their data limits, they receive a text message and an offer to buy more capacity. If they don't top up, their network speed is reduced to 120 kbit/s. At that downlink speed, users can still "surf normal Web pages, do Internet banking, send emails, and do some basic stuff," says a spokeswoman.

Swedish mobile data drives growth
In TeliaSonera's mobile business, mobile data services in Sweden showed strong growth in the first quarter. TeliaSonera's net sales in Sweden were up 9 percent in the first quarter to 3.6 billion Swedish kronor ($500 million), compared with the same period last year, and the operator says that more than half of that growth is due to increased mobile data revenues. But TeliaSonera does not break out and report mobile data revenues.

The Swedish operator's total revenues in the first quarter were 26 billion Swedish kronor ($3.6 billion), which were down 4 percent compared with the year-ago quarter due to negative foreign exchange rate effects. In local currencies and excluding acquisitions, revenues were up 2.5 percent compared with a year ago. The operator reported net income of 4.7 billion Swedish kronor ($654 million) in the first quarter, which is up 6 percent compared with last year.

Update on LTE
TeliaSonera also reiterated its plans to roll out LTE to 25 cities in Sweden and four cities in Norway this year. In Sweden, the LTE deployment will happen in the third and fourth quarters. The operator has not set a timescale for the Norwegian LTE rollout.

The operator currently offers LTE-only modems. But this quarter it will receive this quarter multi-mode modems from Samsung Corp. that support 2G, 3G,and LTE. (See TeliaSonera Gets Dual-Mode 3G/LTE Devices.)

TeliaSonera also said it has a 4G license in Finland and plans to bid for licenses in Denmark and the Baltic countries.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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