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Swedish Teleco Firms Looking Into Block VoIP Claiming Losses In Earnings 151

An anonymous reader writes "Telia, a Swedish telecommunications company, is now looking into possible solutions to block free VoIP services like Skype and Vibr, claiming the losses are beginning to take its toll on the total earnings. Critics are saying the companies have wrongly implemented outdated pricing models, and the act could threaten net transparency and Independence. A new report from regulators of the European phone market shows that more and more telecommunications companies will block their subscribers from using free services. The European Commission is investigating whether it is possible to prohibit the blocking of legal services online."
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Swedish Teleco Firms Looking Into Block VoIP Claiming Losses In Earnings

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  • by ebusinessmedia1 ( 561777 ) on Friday March 30, 2012 @03:27AM (#39519911)

    These telecommunications companies are little more than parasites. They don't ENABLE anything on their own. First, they leverage all kinds of free subsidies (your tax dollars) to build their networks. Then, they wrangle out of taxes by taking business deductions, usually paying their worthless CEO's and other senior executives obscene amount of money for doing exactly what? Taking credit for the INternet and its associated benefits to technology, even as they choke off the benefits of those technologies.

    What's even more breathtaking is that its tax money (made from our tax dollars, earned by the sweat of our ever-longer work days) that actually *paid* for their infrastructure.

    Last, the thing that really amps me up about stuff like this is that telecommunications companies and ISPs, etc. are essentially using technology that they didn't invent, to leverage YOUR and my communicative assets!

    Communication was "free" until we began to find ways to increase it's speed, depth, and breadth. From the stone tablet, to the scribes, to the early offset printers (and print distributors), to the Internet and its multifarious ways of data and information transmission, certain folks have found a way to horde either the means to information production, or its transmission.

    Guess what? That model isn't going to work anymore, not if we want a sustainable information ecology that is as diverse as possible.

    Sorry, but these ISPs and telcos are little more than traitors to human advancement, masquerading as enablers. They want to suck us dry; they want all the benefits. They want tax breaks made by the policy makers that they buy every few years to build their infrastructures, and then they want us to pay them more, as if the tax breaks (which we ultimately pay for) and the infrastructure (which we also pay for), and the very source of communications that they leverage (you and me), isn't enough.

    We need to start finding ways (I don't have the answers, just posing the possibility) to once and for all RID this world of these gatekeepers, because they are interested in keeping only one thing sustainable - their bank accounts. They could give a damn about whether the world is better serves by more transparent and facile communications technology. The Telco and ISP sector are, again, traitors to human growth and development. We need to find another way.

  • Re:What the heck? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ihmhi ( 1206036 ) <> on Friday March 30, 2012 @04:16AM (#39520133)

    The biggest rumor about Skype is that there's an NSA/insert-government-here backdoor that lets them listen in on your Skype calls.

    That already exists in every modern phone and has for decades now, so you're not really losing anything in that respect. You are, however, gaining much better call quality for a fraction of the price.

  • Re:Not yet... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 30, 2012 @04:46AM (#39520263)

    I ended up paying more due to my data usage, possibly as a result of the net neutrality law, but.. I wouldn't want it any other way. I'd rather pay more (or use a bit less) in the short term and ensure that we have net neutrality, rather than keeping my 'unlimited' data subscription but ending up paying extra for certain services in the long term.

    I was very happy to see people & politics care about the net neutrality issue, I hope the senate won't screw up it

  • Re:What the heck? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 30, 2012 @04:47AM (#39520269)

    Why do you assume he even has an account? Personally I find it better to let each post stand on it's own merit rather than let it be judged on the basis of my previous statements and opinions.

  • by zandeez ( 1917156 ) on Friday March 30, 2012 @04:50AM (#39520275) Homepage
    I know what you mean, but in the UK, BT were forced years ago to open their network to other providers, and on top of that the use of VoIP were eating into their traditional revenue streams. Are BT crying about it? No, they're implementing VoIP technology on their main network to reduce their running costs and are offering new, better and complimentary data, voice and management services to pick up an entirely new revenue stream.
  • Re:What the heck? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CodeReign ( 2426810 ) on Friday March 30, 2012 @06:01AM (#39520569)

    Honestly I find it amusing. My carrier (Rogers of Canada) is known for bad service. 3 years ago when I started with them they would proxy all voip communications from my smartphone (I don't know if they billed or just proxied for other reasons). 3 Weeks ago they rolled out a free VOIP service that requires using a computer (some proprietary front end) free to use for their customers (including free long distance and free texting from the computer to any line in Canada).

    As it turns out I no-longer think of Rogers as a shit eating dung. I'm impressed with the service and the initiative (all-be-it the UI could use some improvements). I don't think I will be switching providers any time soon simply because this free service of theirs is amazingly decent considering the level of technology dampening they have tried in the past.

    Some notes: The service allows me to call using my cell number (as the callerID) and I can switch between voip and my cell phone by dialling *11 on either device (that is during a call I can go from free use voip bill per minute cellphone). When I was looking at switching to a voip home-phone for long distance at the beginning of the school year these where two things I never thought possible. Now they are something I absolutely love.

  • Re:What the heck? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday March 30, 2012 @06:46AM (#39520737) Journal
    The data for phone calls is more scarce on at least some mobile protocols because it is isochronous, whereas data sold as data just goes into the unused slots. That said, the mobile companies really ought to offer a SIPPOTS gateway and separate out the charge for data from the charge for termination. If they were really clever, they'd make sure that the SIP stuff worked from any network connection, so they could still charge you for calls when you make them over WiFi.
  • game changed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Friday March 30, 2012 @07:13AM (#39520841) Homepage Journal

    Disclaimer: I used to work for a telco, and was close to the C-level, so some actual business insight might be included, as long as supplies last, some assembly required.

    The problem the telcos are trying to solve is twofold, especially for the old and large (often ex-government) ones.

    The economic problem is that they have massive amounts of hardware, space and other investments tied up into POTS systems. Putting up the whole IP infrastructure wasn't cheap either, and now one of them is destroying the other. That's like having two cars and then your wife leaves - there's simply too much hardware in your garage you don't need. If you can't get rid of it, you will find yourself trying to use both, convincing yourself that one is better for city driving while the other is better for hauling stuff or long-distance or whatever. But the simple fact is that you simply don't like going perfectly good stuff to waste.

    The other problem is pricing. Internet access was initially sold as an add-on, to gain more customers. The price point was designed for that case. Also, after privatisation, many countries in Europe entered a price-war amongst the telcos, driving prices down to a level that only few could sustain for long. Now they are at that point, usage patterns have long since changed with IP traffic being orders of magnitude higher, but they can't raise the prices because that would mean losing customers to the competition. And customers mean everything, because this is one of the businesses where the big honcho monkeys believe that only the top players can compete in the long run, so losing customers is the direct route for the CEO to lose his job. Not because of any actual facts, even if he keeps the company profitable, but because the big shareholders have all subscribed to a mantra that is accepted at face value.

    All the throttling and filtering and bla that is being discussed is because during the land-grab phase of getting as many customers as possible, and Internet access being one big weapon in that, they basically allowed marketing to dig them into a very deep hole with its promises of unlimited high-speed access for almost no money.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson