State-backed operator Telekom Srbija is considering fresh approaches to monetising mobile data, including making certain services available for free, the manager of the provider’s network and services planning department Nemanja Ognjanovic told Fierce Wireless Europe in an interview. Ognjanovic told the news outlet that Telekom had considered offering ‘premium’ mobile access to its HSPA+ network for business customers, but had encountered ‘technological issues’ in ensuring end-to-end quality of service. These issues, and the threat of future net neutrality legislation, which may implement restrictions on traffic management, are the main reason that Telekom has not yet segmented its mobile data offerings by speed, the official noted. Meanwhile, the operator has also raised the possibility of offering free access to social media and messaging services. The operator hopes that doing so may smooth some of the difficulties raised by net neutrality rules: ‘Nobody can prevent you giving Facebook [away] for free or some messaging services instead of throttling [data rates].’
On the 4G front, Ognjanovic explained that the telco’s plans for Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology were prompted by the need to position itself as a market leader and innovator: ‘It’s not a story of a need for LTE from a technological perspective, it’s more a marketing story.’ According to the official, the cellco’s dual-carrier (DC)-HSPA+ network, which is capable of maximum downlink speeds of up to 42Mbps and covers 60%-70% of the nation’s territory, is sufficient to meet the needs of Telekom’s customers.