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 percent 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 percent of the global mobile roaming revenues in 2013. Back in January, Juniper Research reported $42 billion would come from global data roaming by 2018.
“Silent roamers” avoid using data and voice internationally to avoid “bill shock”
Among those utilizing these services are “silent roamers,” or those who exercise caution and don’t use voice or data services at all while roaming for fear of experiencing the dreaded “bill shock” phenomenon that is quite common among the international traveling crowd. This behavior 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”.
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. Many global roaming services we cover do this already, so it’s a good idea to look into these services before traveling overseas.