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Data users get what they pay for

15 сентября 2010

When it comes to mobile data, consumers will increasingly pay for what they use, according to Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao.

Mobile operators have already introduced some caps on data plans and tiered pricing, but "more will come," Colao said in a keynote speech at Nokia World 2010 in London on Tuesday.

"Data costs and data pricing have to adjust," he said. "Every class of service must have its own price... We cannot penalise in our networks those who pay more."

Colao's comments came as he outlined the ways in which he believes mobile operators can work in partnership with handset makers and developers in order to drive the mobile data market forwards. Key to that, he said, is the customer experience of the network: data services need high-speed and high-quality networks in order to flourish.

"[Customer] expectation in terms of quality... is rising very fast," he said, noting that it falls on operators to invest in platforms and distribution as well as access networks.

"We have never cut investments in this area," he said, informing the audience that "50% of our network" boasts uplink speeds of 14.4 Mbps and 2 Mbps in the downlink.

Regarding the content and services running on its network, Colao said photos and video "continue to be the most important activities," followed by personal management tools such as calendar applications, then gaming, music, social networking, and news.

"Social networking, we think it will double in the near future," Colao predicted. Similarly, the company expects "an increase of 90%" in use of navigation services.

The main job of the network is not to facilitate phone calls, but to deliver entertainment, he said. "Streamed music and video are already today the largest part of Vodafone's network work."

When it comes to applications, it is vital to ensure the profitability of the whole ecosystem, Colao noted, speaking mainly to the developers in the room.

"[We need to] make sure there is the right return for all the players," he said. There must be margin for developers, content owners and media players.

And the pricing of apps should account for the network element too, adjusting for usage and load, he said. "We are coming to the end of the free-ism culture."

Источник: Total Telecom

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