Mobile roaming revenues to decline 7 percent in 2017

International roaming
Mobile roaming revenues are expected to decline 7 percent in 2017 globally from an estimated $52 billion.

The decrease in telecom operator’s billed mobile roaming revenues will be 28 percent in Europe due to the impact of the new EU regulations, according to a new study from Juniper Research.

The EU regulation will prompt telecom operators to phase out any premiums for international calls, text and data while roaming within the EU.

Roaming revenues will recover in the medium term as the lower prices of calls and data within EU countries will remove the consumer barrier to using mobiles abroad, resulting in a significant increase in active roamers.

Roaming tariffs outside Europe will continue to be unregulated and significantly higher.

The research report says telecom operators will not increase prices outside-EU roaming charges or domestic prices due to competition.

Juniper Research’ Nitin Bhas said telecom operators need to encourage more usage; they will need to work with content providers and aggregators even more closely now in order to provide more innovative content services to which users will attach value.

The reduction in retail data roaming costs in Europe means that North America and the Far East / China will account for the highest proportion of the global mobile data roaming revenue by 2017.

Despite the reduction in roaming costs in a number of markets, mobile operators will still face a sizeable base of ‘ingrained’ silent roamers, who either switch off roaming services all together or use alternative services such as Wi-Fi or local-SIMs.

The number of In-Flight and Maritime roamers using mobile services while on-board an aircraft or a cruise-line will continue to increase, but represent a small proportion of total mobile operator roaming revenue.

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