Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Telenor launches new price plans to encourage data roaming

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom, in Barcelona
Tuesday 03 March 15

Norwegian telco also announces plans to launch LTE-A later this year and extend coverage of its 4G network to 95% of the population.

Telenor on Tuesday announced plans to cut data roaming prices across its footprint in a bid to encourage customers to use their smartphones overseas, but company CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas admitted that roaming will always carry a price premium. Using a mobile phone while travelling will never be free of charge because of the "…

Telenor on Tuesday announced plans to cut data roaming prices across its footprint in a bid to encourage customers to use their smartphones overseas, but company CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas admitted that roaming will always carry a price premium.

Using a mobile phone while travelling will never be free of charge because of the "additional cost elements" involved, Baksaas said at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

However, at present the price difference between home services and roaming "is not acceptable," he said.

To resolve that, Telenor intends to introduce new roaming price plans at the various operations in its footprint. Telenor Sweden was first to market in January with a 29-kronor (€3.1) per day offer that gives users up to 100 MB of data.

"Norway is expected to be next," Baksaas said. "It will be before the summer season."

Each of the operators within the Telenor group will make its own decision on roaming packages, he added.

As it stands, most customers do not use data at all while they are overseas, but Telenor hopes the new plans will change that.

"70% of Telenor customers…switch off data roaming when travelling," Baksaas said, relying on WiFi connectivity instead.

He explained that the telco's ultimate goal is to see 80% of customers use data roaming while abroad, but did not specify a timeframe for reaching that target.

Meanwhile, the head of Telenor's Norwegian business, Berit Svendsen, shared details of the telco's plan to boost its mobile network in its home market.

The firm has committed to extending LTE coverage in Norway this year to meet the demands of its customer base.

"They are asking for 4G everywhere," Svendsen said.

By June nine out of 10 people in Norway will have 4G coverage and by the end of the year LTE networks will reach 95% of the population, up from 84% today, she said.

"Coverage is Telenor's main competitive advantage in Norway," Svendsen said.

She also announced that Telenor will launch LTE-Advanced "before the summer", boosting network speeds to 300 Mbps in certain areas.

LTE-A - or 4G+, as Telenor is calling it – will reach 200 municipalities, or nearly half of the total number in Norway, in November this year and will be extended to most of the remainder in 2016.
 

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