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TeliaSonera to Detail Plans on VoIP Charges in August

By Sven Grundberg STOCKHOLM--Swedish telecommunications firm TeliaSonera AB (TLSN.SK) Tuesday said it will detail its plans to introduce charges for mobile internet calls towards the end of the summer. Earlier this year, the Swedish operator announced plans to begin charging for web-based telephone calls, or VoIP-calls, through services such as Skype and Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Google Talk. "We plan to provide more exact details about these plans towards the end of the summer, sometime in August," said Anna Augustson, a spokesperson at TeliaSonera. She added that current TeliaSonera subscribers, who today are able to use VoIP services without having to pay extra, won't be subject to any additional charges until their current contracts with TeliaSonera expire. "Also, we will continue to offer subscription packages where VoIP calls are included in the subscription price," Ms. Augustson said. The plans to introduce special charges for VoIP services come as internet calls are threatening to replace traditional voice calls that still account for a lion's share of operators' revenue. VoIP calls have become increasingly popular as high-speed third and fourth generation mobile network technology gains traction. TeliaSonera has already introduced special charges for VoIP calls in Spain, where its subscribers pay EUR6 (about $7.85) a month for 100 megabytes worth of VoIP calls, equaling five to 10 hours of talk-time. TeliaSonera's Chief Executive Lars Nyberg earlier said similar price models will be introduced on "many of its other markets." The company is also set to launch an own VoIP-service. VoIP over mobile networks has latterly become a political issue. Last year, the European Commission launched a probe into telecom firms who block Internet telephone services like Skype. Write to Sven Grundberg at sven.grundberg@dowjones.com

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