France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard (pictured) says the firm is just weeks away from announcing a deal with major Internet players such as Google, which will allow the operator to share revenue generated from content services. Speaking at the firm’s investor day earlier this week, Richard said he had recently held discussions with the likes of Google co-founder Larry Page concerning a policy that will make users who want a better service – a more stable or faster connection – pay more. “Larry Page told me that they were open-minded on the subject and ready to start discussions,” said Richard, reports Reuters. His comments follow on from a meeting between European operators and content providers such as Google, Facebook and News Corp in Paris last week, which saw the two sides discuss a compromise solution for sharing the cost of network investments.
Telecompaper reports separately that Richard stated clearly that the big Internet companies will not agree to pay to invest in network capacity, but they are ready to collaborate to develop more intelligent uses of operators’ networks and to educate consumers. He also said that Google was studying how to include tools in its Android apps to enable people to monitor their data usage and to advise them on how to manage it. France Telecom and Google have agreed to set up joint study groups to see if there is a way for Google services to reduce their network consumption in the future, the report says.