Global roaming market set for growth

The global roaming market is expected to grow by 86% between 2010 and 2015, delivering revenues of $67 billion, or 6.3% of total mobile service revenues by the end of this period, according to Informa Telecoms & Media’s latest research.??

Data revenues, driven by the accelerating smartphone phenomenon, will exhibit the largest growth of all service segments, delivering a 28% CAGR or a 246% increase for the period, the research showed.

Underlying these figures, the research finds that the global mobile roaming market has entered a new, and also exciting, phase. Data roaming, new pricing models and technologies, as well as regulation are just some of the forces transforming the roaming market, helping create for it a future that is certain to look very different from today, said Paul Lambert, senior analyst at Informa.

“Although the global economic downturn is bound to have an effect on the roaming market in terms of the numbers of people traveling abroad, it appears that overall revenues are still rising due to an increase in roaming usage,” he said in a research note.

“The EU has introduced regulation on roaming, but it is still largely absent in other regions. This situation has led to some unintended consequences; some European operators are increasing their prices for operators outside the region to terminate traffic on their networks to offset declines in roaming revenues.

“The use of mobile data services while abroad is booming, and is a market that operators need to nurture through transparent and reasonable pricing to ensure profitable future growth. The assumption that roaming pricing is inelastic needs to be thoroughly examined in the light of the usage data following the reductions that operators put in place before the summer,” Lambert concluded.