Telia backtracks on Skype ‘block’ in Sweden

Swedish telecom operator Telia has backtracked on a proposal from March to implement technologies that would have blocked mobile phone users in Sweden from making free calls using services like Skype and Viber, but has announced a hike in data prices.

The company announced in a statement on Monday that it would not charge extra for mobile voice over IP (VoIP) telephony services and that customers would be able to continue using services like Skype and Viber as they do today.

However, Telia revealed that there would be an increase in data prices to “meet customers’ growing demand for data communication”.

The maximum daily fee attached to new subscriptions will be increased from 9 kronor ($1.40) per day to 19 kronor per day, while the amount of data included will be raised from 0.5 to 2 megabytes.

The news comes after the company caused a stir in March announcing that such services would be blocked, a move that some believed was not in line with the European Commission guidelines on “net neutrality” whereby all internet traffic is treated equally.

“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.

However, in Monday’s statement Telia announced that VoIP services will continue to be included in all subscriptions, except in a completely new subscription launched on 24 September called Telia Flex Bas.

This subscription is designed for customers who primarily use traditional voice services and have limited need for data communication.

TT/The Local/og

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