Operators hint at charging 'bandwidth-hogging' content providers

Three CEOs from some of Europe's largest mobile operators have dropped heavy hints that they cannot continue to invest in network improvements to support bandwidth-hogging content services.

Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo and others are said by the operators to be reaping significant financial rewards from the huge infrastructure investments being made by Europe's operators.

Telecom Italia, France Telecom and Telefónica are at the forefront of this complaint and have suggested that these content providers pay for their fair share of the necessary upgrade costs.

Commenting on the issue, Franco Bernabe, head of Telecom Italia, warned that the expense of constantly updating its networks to meet data demands could "compromise the economic sustainability of the current business model for telecom companies."

Stephane Richard, CEO of France Telecom Orange, complained that service providers were flooding networks with no incentive to limit bandwidth usage. "It's necessary to put in place a system of payments by service providers as a function of their use."

Earlier this year, Cesar Alierta, CEO of Telefónica, said that Google, Yahoo and others "used Telefónica's networks for free, which is good news for them and a tragedy for us," adding, "that can't continue."

While the accused have remained silent over this call for investment assistance, Giuseppe de Martino of the French online video provider Dailymotion, argued that about 40 per cent of his company's expenses go to support network servers, peering and its content delivery network: "If telecom operators want us to share in their expenses, perhaps we should talk about sharing subscription revenues as well."

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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