Sunday, February 12, 2006

Charlotte's footsteps and Kenneth's forehead

This may seem like a bizarre title for my first post from Barcelona, but it sums up some of the important matters.
First, who is Charlotte? She’s Charlotte Züger, a press spokesperson for TeliaSonera who I called recently on an IT related story. Charlotte talked to me for about three to five minutes and all during that time, I could hear her footsteps. She was walking down a hallway, probably in the TeliaSonera Stockholm office, away from here desk. Although I called the Swedish “landline” number for her office, she answered on a mobile phone for the simple reason that THERE ARE NO MORE LANDLINES at TeliaSonera. Everyone is mobile, either inside or outside the office, and everyone is available almost always.
To sum it up, for voice, mobile is the future and has been the future for a couple of years. This is what 3GSM World is all about, mobile is where the personal communication environment is going. TeliaSonera realizes this and is probably placing most of its bets on a mobile future for its customers as well, both in Sweden and outside.
And so who is Kenneth? Kenneth Karlberg, the chief honcho of TeliaSonera’s Baltic operations (Denmark, Norway, whatever as well). Why is his forehead interesting? He has been beating his head against the stonewall put up by the Latvian government against the perfectly rational idea that TeliaSonera should acquired control of both Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT) and fixed-line operator Lattelekom. The government thinks it is better for “competition” to have a “orphan” fixed line operator to be sold at a fire sale, rather than a strong fixed-mobile platform the offers a seamless solution to business and private customers, like similar operations do in dozens of countries.
I think we will hear soon from Kenneth of the battered forehead that he will follow in Charlotte’s footsteps. that is, go with the mobile. Take LMT, best available and f**k the rest (unfortunately). But I probably won't hear it here (officially, nor even in unoffical whispers) here in Barcelona.

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