TeliaSonera To Charge Extra For Skype And Other VoIP Calls

In a huge move against net neutrality in the Nordics and abroad, the mobile operator TeliaSonera announced in their January-March interim report that they will now “start exploring new business models” to combat lost income from customers using VoIP services on their smartphones. The report does not give any specifics on the pricing of the tiers, but says it will be launched starting in Spain in one month, and in Sweden this summer.

The whole report can be found here, but here’s the most notable paragraph:

“Changed customer behavior which leads to a mix shift in our business highlights the need to develop our business models and how we charge for our services going forward. We have been in the forefront stating that while prices for voice will continue to come down there must be a stronger correlation between usage and pricing of data. TeliaSonera is leading this change towards a new sustainable business model. 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. This will be launched in Spain within a month and in Sweden for new subscriptions during the summer.

This is particularly worrying, and if anything it shows that the EU needs net neutrality legislation so customers are free to use the internet as they wish. It’s one thing to limit bandwidth, but it feels more vicious when it’s in response to more efficient new business models.

More information can be found at Talouselämä (finnish).