Data caps necessary to fund extra capacity: TeliaSonera CEO

The trend by many operators to offer unlimited mobile data tariffs--or flat fee--is unworkable, claims the president and CEO of TeliaSonera, Lars Nyberg. Instead, the exec believes that imposing data usage caps on mobile broadband customers is the right mechanism to manage the surge in mobile data traffic volumes as well as funding improvements to network capacity.

According to a report carried by Lighreading, TeliaSonera has experienced a doubling of data traffic compared to last year and mobile broadband subscribers have increased by 436,000 in Q1 to 1.1 million. In 2009, mobile data traffic increased by 200 per cent while the number of mobile broadband customers increased by 60 per cent, said a TeliaSonera spokeswoman.

By not adopting the flat fee approach, Nyberg believes it can manage the rise in mobile data traffic without it being a drain on Capex, helped by falling infrastructure equipment costs.

"We feel comfortable that we can handle the growth rate in traffic volumes without having to spend extra capex," said Nyberg. "It's vital to manage traffic volumes in line with our ability to grow the capacity--that's the challenge."

The company recently introduced usage caps for mobile data on smartphones.

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