TeliaSonera is taking the bold step of charging subscribers for using voice over IP (VoIP) services, after net income dropped 18% year-on-year in the first quarter.
The firm plans to start charging for VoIP in Spain by mid-May, and will levy the same charge on new subscribers in its home market – Sweden – from the summer. President and chief Lars Nyberg says the change is necessary to address changing customer behavior that has seen a drop in voice and messaging revenue, and is a natural evolution of its current strategies on data pricing.
“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,” Nyberg states, adding. “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.”
Nyberg is acting after profit fell to 4.3 billion Swedish Krona (€485 million) in 1Q12, despite a slight (3%) increase in revenues over 1Q11.
The chief notes that Eurasia was the telco’s most successful region during the quarter, delivering double-digit growth, however the firm’s broadband services sales remained on the same level as the first three months of 2011, while equipment sales were the main driver of growth in its mobility services business.