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TeliaSonera Chokes Free VoIP Services

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
2/29/2012

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2012 -- Telia Company said it will charge an extra fee for using free over-the-top VoIP services on its network and throttle bandwidth for users who try to use these services without paying.

In an interview with Light Reading TV, Tommy Ljunggren, TeliaSonera's VP of system development, explained the operator's new strategy and pricing policy for OTT VoIP services. TeliaSonera's message is clear: If you want to use those services on our network, you have to pay; if you don't, those services won't work. [Ed note: We'll embed the video of the interview soon.]

This isn't a new idea from the European operator, but now it's starting to put this strategy into action. It is understood that TeliaSonera's majority-owned service provider in Spain, Yoigo , has started to levy such a charge. (See TeliaSonera: No Free VoIP on Our 4G and LTE Voice Lag Leaves Operators Vulnerable .)

TeliaSonera's plans for charging extra for using third-party VoIP services first cropped in May last year. The pricing applies to the carrier's 4G LTE as well as 3G networks.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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ethertype
ethertype
12/5/2012 | 5:41:03 PM
re: TeliaSonera Chokes Free VoIP Services


Wow, this sounds like an idea from circa 2005.  Do they really think they can get away with this?  If Verizon or AT&T tried this, the FCC would be all over them like a cheap suit, not to mention their customers.  Perhaps the regulatory context in Sweden is more friendly to SP extortion, but I bet the court of public opinion will not be kind.


I'm all for reasonable controls that reflect a true cost to the SP, such as high usage caps to deter the heaviest users, but there is just no economic justification for banning over-the-top VoIP.  VoIP is just DATA!  And a pretty small percentage of total data flows, at that.  SPs don't have to give it priority, but they have no defensible reason to block it either.


Let's call this what it is:  a blatant attempt to protect their threatened voice revenues by obstructing competitive innovation and harming their own customers in the process.


 

DCITDave
DCITDave
12/5/2012 | 5:41:03 PM
re: TeliaSonera Chokes Free VoIP Services


It's odd, too, because if they have a good Wi-Fi business (and I'm guessing they do), OTT VOIP is nothing but demand creation for Wi-Fi. You get addicted to Skype, FaceTime and Google+ and you can't imagine a world without Wi-Fi. 


You can't shut those services off on one network and expect them to flourish on another, can you?

acohn
acohn
12/5/2012 | 5:40:58 PM
re: TeliaSonera Chokes Free VoIP Services


A VPN can defeat this easily

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