Telia holds Skype hostage, may block VoIP in Sweden

Skype may be blocked for use by a wireless provider in the very country one of Skype’s founders, Niklas Zennström, is from. Sweden’s Telia is reportedly considering a block on Skype’s mobile video and VoIP services later this year unless customers pay an additional usage charge.

Everything’s Relative, Especially Wireless Broadband Speeds

Swedish wireless companies, in an effort to satisfy the nation’s consumer ombudsman, have come up with what they’re hoping is a better representation of wireless broadband speeds, what they’ve dubbed the “practical maximum speed.” In most countries, network operators advertise their wireless speeds based on the maximum levels achieved in the lab, which is the equivalent of advertising the maximum amount of weight lost by people shown in weight-loss commercials as typical. But in reality, wireless broadband speeds depend on several constantly changing variables, such as how far a person is from a tower and how many people are on the network at any point in time.

So to help consumers get a better sense of what they’re really buying, earlier this month, the ombudsman, Gunnar Larsson, said that Tele2, Telenor, Telia and 3 shouldn’t be allowed to advertise theoretical maximum speeds. Using the maximum speeds for an HSPA network, for example, means operators are advertising speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps down. But I’m not convinced the Swedish operators are being all that transparent with their ombudsman, either, for they have decided that the “practical maximum speed” of an HSPA network is some 6 Mbps. Read More about Everything’s Relative, Especially Wireless Broadband Speeds

The Telia-Cogent Spat Could Ruin the Web For Many

Updated: Swedish telecom operator Telia and U.S.-based connectivity provider Cogent Communications have gotten into an ugly spat and have stopped interconnecting, according to some of my sources in the telecom business. What this essentially means is that Telia’s DSL customers could have trouble seeing Cogent-connected web services. Telia, now part of TeliaSonera is one of the largest networks in Europe.

The bickering could be because one of the two parties feel they need to be paid for the traffic they are sending. I am looking into this and have emails out to all my sources in the bandwidth business, and will update accordingly. (If you have any information, drop me a line.)

Cogent had previously gotten into a slugfest with Level 3 Communications. Cogent’s stance towards Telia is hypocritical. Here is a press release they issued back in 2005 when complaining about Level3. As a reader points out, Cogent has been involved in such spats with other carriers as well. OpenTransit (France Telecom), Teleglobe, ATDN are some of those who have had Cogent issues.

This is a letter Telia sent to its customers:

Dear Customer,

We would like to give you the following information:

Cogent has decided not to exchange traffic directly with TeliaSonera’s AS 1299 or indirectly with AS 1299 through a third-party provider. As a result, Cogent has partitioned the Internet and disrupted the flow of traffic between Cogent and TeliaSonera customers.

While this has a negative impact on some users of the Internet, this effect is the result of Cogent’s decision and is unfortunately beyond TeliaSonera’s control. Until Cogent rectifies this situation, TeliaSonera customers experiencing any difficulty reaching Cogent’s network can continue to purchase IP Transit from TeliaSonera along with another Tier 1 provider. This will fix the immediate problem and ensure optimal connectivity going forward.

We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused…

If you have further concerns, please address your commercial contact at TeliaSonera

Updated with inputs from our readers. Thanks guys