At the last Mobile World Congress, Telstra announced its new bonus IP voice, a rate specific so that subscribers to cheaper data plans to make IP calls, a service that both Telstra and other operators allowed only in more powerful data plans. The new bond has become effective the month of April, unleashing a controversy about whether it violates or not the neutrality of the network.
Xatakamovil have talked with Johan Andsjö, CEO of Telstra, so give us your view on the issue and other very hot topics as the Terminal grant or the future deployment of LTE networks. This is what he has told us.
Xatakamovil: Why while other subsidiaries of its parent company, Telia Sonera, subsidize terminals, for Telstra is this model unsustainable?
Johan Andsjö: 15 markets where TeliaSonera has mobile operators, I have only one record that have actual grants in addition to Spain, and Norway. There rates are still pretty expensive, and the economy is still growing. Until Norway run out of oil, I am afraid that they will continue to same. 😉
In the rest of our markets, the model that we use is that call of ‘ integrated funding ’, which is which we have brought to Spain under the name of ‘ payment installment ’. This means that the customer can finance all or part of your mobile phone, and although the operator can finance part, the client always knows what is paying for the phone. The advantage is also that customers only have to sign a contract with the operator and also receive everything in a single invoice. We think that this model has serious advantages over other models, but mostly makes the acquisition of terminal becomes easier and more transparent for customers, who know what they pay for every thing.
The funding model may make the acquisition of terminal easier and more transparent for customers.
In our experience, it usually take between a year and a half and two years implementation of a model with funding without subsidies. I think that this movement has been done too fast in Spain, and therefore there is a risk that many customers do not know what exactly is happening with this issue.
Xatakamovil: If you put an end to the subsidies will lower fees flat fares and megaplanas for not having to repay the grant?
Johan Andsjö: That is something that seems very logical to me, and I hope that the market in general lower fares as a result of subsidizing less or no subsidies at all. The challenge for us, the operators, is to be able to explain why and how this is happening so people know and feel that we are treating them fairly.
Xatakamovil: As a fourth operator that competes on price, how is it affecting Yoigo the advance of OMV?
Johan Andsjö: Well, we came out to the market only a few months earlier than most of them, so it is difficult to remember a time that did not exist. I have always said that there is more space for competition in this market and still think so. I also believe that not all MVNO will survive as prices continue to decline. The key to their survival is to find your niche market.
I also believe that not all MVNO will survive as prices keep falling.
I do not think that Telstra will be more affected by the OMV indicating any other operator, in fact everything that both we and they are able to live and grow at the same time.
Xatakamovil: From some blogs it has accused Telstra of infringing the principles of net neutrality with the launch of bonus VoIP what is his stance in this respect?
Johan Andsjö: Unfortunately the net neutrality means different things to different people, and therefore there is much confusion in this regard. The only activity where I record to be going against the original idea of net neutrality is in regards to our ‘ Child Watch Service ’ where we were the first operator in Spain decided to block content, specifically illegal images of child abuse. In theory we should not do this if we are 100% faithful to the idea of network neutrality, but I think it is common sense in doing so.
The only activity where I record to be going against the original idea of net neutrality is in regards to our ‘ Child Watch Service & #8217;
In what refers to bonus voice IP, I believe that there has been a misunderstanding. In fact, we are opening the service, not closing it. With this service we meet three targets, all focused on our customers:
- We want to open the possibility of using IP voice wherever they are without having to go desperately looking for WIFI hotspots.
- We want to be very transparent as to at what rates is included free of charge the voice over IP and what is necessary to pay extra to use it. I think that we are much more honest than our competitors in this sense.
- We want to encourage the use of IP voice and make it as reliable as the normal voice. For this reason, we focus on ensuring that IP voice service works every day of the month and does not stop just because you’ve consumed your bonus data using Youtube, for example.
I hope that voice IP in the future to lower the costs of voice in international roaming, video calls or social communication services
I think that what we now know as IP voice in terms of Skype or Viber will be much different tomorrow if we encourage these services appropriately. I hope that voice IP in the future to lower the costs of voice in international roaming, video calls, or social services. Do not provide voice Facebook, Linkedin voice or voice in Apalabrados chat? Above all I hope that voice IP will work as reliably as the normal voice today.
The key to develop these services is to make sure that voice IP does work only because you’ve consumed many data with other online services and the bond is left empty. Imagine a service’s normal voice that would work only 20 days of each month both to receive and send calls. If it is implanteable to normal voice service, why should be well for the VoIP?
I believe that we have met our goals and I think we have a very interesting new service. We launched it without removing anything to anyone, what we have done is open up more possibilities to people who are interested, but who is not having to pay for it either directly or indirectly.
Xatakamovil: Data traffic has already finished with the traditional SMS. Wouldn’t it be more logical that all calls be established over IP?
Johan Andsjö: 4G all calls will establish over IP, so is the way in which 4G is built. This is the reason that makes sense prepare customers and business models for it right now.
For people with phones 2G and 3G, this is not possible, and that is why we have to live with a hybrid model for a while and do it as best as possible.
Xatakamovil: You think that it will change the panorama of carriers and terminals if it disappears definitively grant system.
Johan Andsjö: According to the experience in the Nordic markets, rates will come down, clients will better understand what they are paying, and phone manufacturers will have to work a little harder to sell specific brands, rather than simply to leave this issue in the hands of the operators. After all, they are all good things.
Xatakamovil: What news is there on the deployment of its 4G at the hands of Ericsson network?
Johan Andsjö: Well, I’d like to be able to tell you all what is about, but in this company, no one tells me anything important … 😉 The reality about the deployment of 4G is that it is too early to put a specific date, but quite possibly not we are talking about beyond 2014… and here I can read.