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TeliaSonera to begin charging for VoIP services

A1 has fully migrated its fixed net telephony to VoIP

TeliaSonera will begin to charge for VoIP services

Swedish operator group TeliaSonera has said it will begin charging for VoIP services by the end of May. The firm said that changes in customer behaviour and increasing pressure on voice revenues have led to the decision.

Lars Nyberg, president and CEO said that the firm needs to develop its business models and how it charges for services going forward, and there must be a stronger correlation between usage and pricing of data. 

“TeliaSonera is leading this change towards a new sustainable business model,” he said. “We have been early in introducing tiered pricing of data, lower costs for data roaming and recently openly communicated that we will start to charge for mobile VoIP.” 

The policy will be introduced in Spain within a month and in Sweden for new subscriptions during the summer, Nyberg added. 

Thomas Wehmeier, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, said that although he believes that this type of application-centric pricing is not the way forward, operators do need to evolve the pricing models they are using to charge for data. 

“At the moment, we’re very much in a unit-centric pricing world. You can compare one operator to another on the basis of the volume of data bundled in and the price of that bundle. A transition is needed to a much more value-centric pricing environment, whereby consumers are buying on the basis of the overall value that the operator gives to them. That could typically mean the amount of data being consumed, speed and bundling in data roaming and perhaps the inclusion of some wifi access.” 

He added that operators are still learning how to price in the data market – consumers have only been paying for data in meaningful volumes since around 2006, which means that there’s a lot of evolution still to come. 

“What we see is that customers do attach different levels of value to different types of data session, which can vary according to the type of device they are using, the quality of network they are accessing, where they are, the time of day and also, how much urgency there is for them to do something,” he said. 

“For example, if you’re desperately trying to download a document onto your phone for work, you’re likely to attach a high level of premium to that. So what we see is that this is the direction operators are trying to go; varying pricing according to customers’ perceived levels of value.”


3 comments

  1. tim deluca-smith 24/04/2012 @ 9:43 am

    The problem any of these carriers face is trying to change hearts and minds amingst their customer base.

    Carriers have spent years trying to grab market share through bundled deals – completely de-valuing their own networks and offers. They’ve commoditized data in the eyes of the average consumer who now ‘expects’ a generous data allowance at reasonable speed. Trying to shift to tiered models or those that associate price to perceived value (to aid the removal of VOIP traffic) will be a tough PR exercise.

  2. Sean Jackson 24/04/2012 @ 3:15 pm

    The model of giving stuff away for free in the hope that people become so entranced with the product that they’ll pay for it later doesn’t work unless you have a monopoly or something genuinely addictive. Mobile VoIP is neither.

  3. Dean Bubley 25/04/2012 @ 12:45 pm

    I can’t see this working at all.

    Firstly, it’s going to be extremely difficult to define “voice” in a meaningful or legally-acceptable fashion. Does that include one-way VoIP as part of a streamed broadcast? Two-way push-to-talk or voice chat? Use of Skype as a baby monitor? Does Apple Siri count as VoIP? Voicemails sent via email? 3rd-party visual voicemail services? What about mashups of various sorts? Use of Teliasonera’s own IP-centrex softphone? In-browser voice services?

    Readers will get the point.

    Secondly, all it will do is accelerate the day when *all* Internet traffic from handsets or other devices is fully-encrypted.

    It will be an interesting experiment, but one I fully expect to fail. It’s particularly notable that in Spain, Telefonica is going in absolutely the opposite direction – both permitting VoIP and indeed in the UK doing its own #TelcoOTT services.

    Dean Bubley
    Disruptive Analysis
    @disruptivedean

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