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MOBILES

Sweden’s mobile phone use surges

Mobile phone use in Sweden is still on the rise, according to Sweden's National Post and Telecom Agency.

The total called minutes on the mobile network increased 31 percent during 2005, said an agency report released on Thursday.

The agency said that the large increase is partly due to greater competition between competitors, which has caused prices in the industry to fall.

The report said talk traffic on the 3G net has tripled during the past year, which means it is now makes up some 7 percent of the total mobile traffic. Another sign of increased use of the 3G net is that the amount of data sent of the mobile net quadrupled in 2005.

Web-based telephone services also grew significantly during the year, expanding by 159 percent to 210,000 users, up from 81,000 users in 2004.

Internet services continued to have strong growth with some 40 percent – 1,7 million households – now with broadband Internet service, an increase of 11 percent compared to 2004.

The ADSL service through Telia Sonera’s network is the most widespread and fastest growing method with nearly 63 percent of the total market for fixed connections to households.

PRIVACY

Telia leaks customers’ private phone logs

Swedish telecom firm Telia has come under fire after the company published customers' private information, leaked their bills online, and revealed lists of SMS and phone call recipients.

Telia leaks customers' private phone logs

Several customers of Telia, the Swedish subsidiary of Swedish-Finnish telecom company TeliaSonera, learned this week that their information had been leaked for several months and was still available on Google cached documents. One of those affected was 28-year-old Madelene Dalebrand Wachler from Hudiksvall in eastern Sweden.

“[Swedish tabloid] Aftonbladet rang me and explained that my billing statements were viewable online… you could come in directly and see it all – all the calls I’d made and all the people to whom I had sent an SMS,” she told The Local.

The information came with names, addresses, telephone numbers and even lengths of the phone calls.

“It’s terrible. Some of the people I had contacted had private and unpublished numbers, and all of this has been leaked by Telia,” she added.

Wachler has since contacted authorities at Sweden’s Data Inspectorate (Datainspektionen) who have promised to launch an investigation into the matter.

“I’m also looking into getting compensation from Telia. Information shouldn’t be available like this, it’s horrible and it’s quite scary actually. And it makes it harder to trust all these big companies,” she said.

Telia spokesman Hans G. Larsson was shocked to learn of the leaks, confirming that only a few people were affected.

“This in unacceptable, of course, and it’s something we will be looking into. We do offer our customers confidentiality and this involves the data protection act,” he told Aftonbladet.

He explained that the system had been shuttered later on Monday night, which meant no customers were able to see their own statements online at the time.

“If you need to pay a bill over the coming days, you can log into My Pages [Mina sidor] on Telia to see the statements,” Larsson told the TT news agency.

“Thank goodness, this seems to have been very limited. Nothing points to it being a large group of customers being affected, but it’s bad enough already,” Larsson told the TT news agency.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

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