Feature Article

September 25, 2012

Telia Backs Off Plan to Block Skype, Other Free Mobile VoIP Use

There is more than one company having problems deciding just how it is going to deal with Skype and other VoIP technologies working on mobile devices. 

On the one hand, Skype has become so popular that a company can’t really avoid the tech for fear of backlash from its customers. On the other hand, allowing an unbridled use of Skype can cut into a company’s bottom line, especially as Skype continues to polish its mobile VoIP offering. 

Swedish telecom Telia is one such company that has been going back and forth on what it should do in regard to Skype. The latest development is that Telia has backed down from an earlier decision to completely block the use of Skype and other free VoIP services.

Telia issued a statement on Monday that they were going to stop blocking people using free VoIP, although the company has decided that it’s going to be boosting its charge for using data. Telia is going to be raising the daily fee for new subscribers from $1.40 a day to $2.89 per user. 

The company is also increasing the amount of data subscribers can use per day from 0.5 to 2 megabytes. 

This announcement follows the company coming under fire since its statement this March that it would be blocking free mobile VoIP services. That announcement was actually viewed by some industry insiders as going against the directives of the European Commission’s guidelines when it comes to net neutrality. 

"I believe, quite simply, that we need to be able to get paid for our various services no matter what, as different service plans include different things," Telia spokesperson Charlotte Züger told Sveriges Radio (SR) at the time that this issue came to the forefront.

The announcement Monday seems to reverse that stance a little, as all subscriber plans will include the ability to use Skype and other services except for an entirely new plan. This plan, called the Telia Flex Bas, is made for customers who don’t really have an interest in using data on their phones.

Want to learn more about today’s powerful mobile ecosystem? Don't miss the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at Mobility Tech Conference & Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker

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