European phone operators want Apple, Google and Facebook to pitch in and help pay for the billions of dollars of network investments needed for their bandwidth-hogging services, reports “Bloomberg Businessweek” (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-12-08/apple-google-asked-to-pay-up-as-operators-face-data.html).
As mobile and Web companies add videos, music and games, operators including France Telecom SA, Telecom Italia SpA and Vodafone Group Plc want a new deal that would require content providers like Apple and Google to pay fees linked to usage.
“Service providers are flooding networks with no incentive” to cut costs, France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard said last month. “It’s necessary to put in place a system of payments by service providers as a function of their use.”
Richard, who addressed the issue at the “Le Web” conference in Paris today, has joined Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabe and Telefonica SA CEO Cesar Alierta in what could turn into a “cold war with Web companies,” “Bloomberg Businessweek” sayss. As more consumers access the Internet on mobile devices, the cost of building bigger networks may outstrip revenue growth for wireless operators, slicing their return on investment, the article adds.