Tiered data pricing a return to sanity, says KPN CEO

Having predicted that data will eventually overtake voice in terms of magnitude, KPN's CEO, chief executive Ad Scheepbouwer, said that it would likely implement usage-based charging for data traffic by the end of 2010.

Scheepbouwer said that, with mobile data becoming a mass market service on its Dutch and German networks, the introduction of tiered pricing was a much needed return to sanity, and heavy users would need to pay accordingly.

"Voice is also data but it's a very light use of data," said Scheepbouwer. "In five years' time, maybe 10 per cent of the use of a phone will be voice and the other 90 per cent will be data. In the end there will also be sanity in terms of pricing, so that people pay little for voice and start to pay more for data."

The CEO added that KPN had already started to actively inform customers on data pricing and would further implement pricing differentiation.

Albeit that KPN is the number three mobile operator in both Belgium and Germany, the company is aiming to capture up to 25 per cent of the market for mobile data in both countries once it rolls out new higher-speed services later this year in Belgium and by the middle of next year in Germany.

Last year KPN reported revenues of €500m from mobile data, a small proportion of the €13.5 billion total revenues generated by the group. However, Scheepbouwer said the annual growth rate for data services was between 50 and 60 per cent and still accelerating. As recently as 2005, more than 95 per cent of the market was focused on voice calls and text messages.

For more on this story:
- read Financial Times

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