Skip to comments.Mobile operators seek to 'block' Skype in Sweden
Posted on 04/02/2012 10:20:01 AM PDT by dickmc
Swedish telecom operators want to implement technologies that will block mobile phone users in Sweden from making free calls using services like Skype and Viber.
"It's going to mean that there will be service plans where it's not included so it won't work," Telia spokesperson Charlotte Züger told SR.
"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."
A recent report by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), which oversees telecom regulations across the European Union, has found that Swedish telecom operators are not alone in their desire to prevent users from making free VoIP calls.
However, Swedish companies looking to ensure users don't forego paid mobile phone calls in favour of VoIP services, may find their plans scuttled by the European Commission, which is considering banning telecom companies from blocking services like Skype and Viber.
According to the European Commission, maintaining "net neutrality" whereby all internet traffic is treated equally is important and companies shouldn't be able to control how customers use the network.
The findings of the BEREC report, published earlier this month, prompted calls by net neutrality advocates for legislation to ensure that competition isn't hampered by the blocking of VoIP services.
"These preliminary findings prove that EU operators impose unjustifiable restrictions to Internet access," said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of France-based citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.
Swedish MEP Gunnar Hökmark of the Moderate Party told SR he's open to exploring legislation, but is generally critical of telecom companies' attempt to block customers from using VoIP services on their mobile phones.
"From the start I think we should have an openness which means that we never have to take such measures," he told SR.
Should be a simple contractual matter and let the free market determine the winner. The telecoms include a clause in their service contracts prohibiting use of their service with VOIP such as Skype, and let the consumer decide if they want to sign up with that contract or if they want to go to the competitor who doesn’t have it. Simple.
And they should have every right to put that clause in their service contracts. Just as the customer has every right to go to their competitor, who doesn’t have that clause.
The government should stay the hell out of it. Government only distorts and marginalizes anything it touches.
And the answer is....TAXES
Some countries derive a substantial amount of revenue from taxing overseas phone calls. Particularly countries like India that have a large number of their nationals living in other countries.
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