Telkom “in the 50s” by charging for voice

Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, recently gave his views on the future of technology and telecoms in a presentation titled “Building bridges to a new reality” at Telkom’s annual SATNAC conference.

In his keynote address at the conference, which is hosted at the Spier Estate in Stellenbosch this year, Verwaayen said that Telkom was living in the fifties by charging for voice.

He explained his statement by saying that the reason for the status quo is because voice was first. “If data was first Telkom would be charging for data and voice would be an application,” Verwaayen said.

In Internet Protocol (IP) only networks there is no difference between data and voice traffic, but Verwaayen qualified this statement by explaining that the first thing a telecommunications company has to look at is its business model.

He said that traditional, incumbent telecommunications providers need to move away from only providing connectivity towards packaging services.

“Broadband on its own is nothing. Broadband embedded in a service concept is absolutely life changing,” Verwaayen said.

Charging for voice calls << comments and views

In a subsequent interview Verwaayen clarified that he didn’t say “Telkom” but “telco,” referring to telecommunications companies in general. Since Telkom is a telco that charges for voice, he added that the statement remains accurate.

Jan is a guest of Telkom at the 2010 SATNAC conference

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Telkom “in the 50s” by charging for voice