A new report from Juniper Research has valued operator revenues generated from mobile roaming at nearly $90 billion by 2018, compared to $57 billion this year. This will represent over 8% of the global operator billed revenues by 2018.
The report notes that these revenues will largely be driven by increasing data usage, primarily from a reduction in roaming charges. Data roaming represented an estimated 36% of the global mobile roaming revenues in 2013.
The Silent Roamer Opportunity
However, the new report, Mobile Roaming: Regulations, Opportunities & In-flight Strategies 2014-2018 observed that with increasing global travel, there is an increasing prevalence of ‘silent roamers’. Silent roamers exercise caution, or do not use voice and data services at all while roaming, and represent a non-user segment. This behaviour presents a huge challenge to operators both in terms of customer satisfaction and revenue expansion.
Report author Nitin Bhas added: “This is costing the industry billions each year in lost revenue opportunity, given the millions of inbound and outbound roamers as well as the expansion of data traffic over flattening voice usage”.
Targeting Non Data Roamers
Meanwhile, the report noted that as the industry moves aggressively towards a 4G/LTE environment, there is an opportunity to encourage ‘non-data’ roamers to become data roamers. This can be done via package based roaming services where consumers are able to understand what they are paying for in a transparent and easier way.
Other key findings include:
•Operator revenues from mobile data roaming to reach over $42 billion by 2018.
•New developments in in-flight roaming have seen specialist service providers such as AeroMobile and OnAir partnering with mobile and airline operators.