Telefonica mulls charging big network users extra

SANTANDER (Reuters) - Internet providers like Telefonica should find new ways to charge big data transmitters like Google for network use, the Spanish telecoms giant’s chief executive Julio Linares said on Monday.

Exponential growth in data traffic fuelled both by content providers and users who pay a fixed tariff is pushing up costs and investments for network operators without raising revenue, Linares said at a telecoms conference in Northern Spain.

“This business model could reach breaking point whereby expenses exceed revenue. Nobody wants this to happen,” said Linares.

Other network operators like Vodafone have suggested that big content providers should pay networks for the transmission of their data. France’s Orange is already drawing up plans for a charge.

“There is neither infinite space for Internet providers nor infinite capacity on networks,” the CEO of the world’s fourth- largest telecoms operator said.

Reporting by Robert Hetz; Writing by Jonathan Gleave; Editing by Erica Billingham