Mobile operators will generate over $10 billion in roaming data revenue globally in 2024 against $8.6 billion in 2023, Juniper Research said.
Mobile operators’ future retail roaming revenue will be threatened by the emergence of competing travel mobility solutions. Travel mobility solutions include the option for roaming subscribers to adopt a temporary local profile rather than incur roaming charges.
eSIMs are the key enabling technology for the growth of travel mobility services. eSIMs, which are inbuilt and operator-agnostic, enables roaming subscribers to adopt local profiles through digital platforms, rather than relying on roaming via physical SIMs.
By 2024, over 1.5 billion smartphones globally will leverage eSIMs for cellular connectivity, and is anticipated to reach 3.5 billion by 2027.
Mobile subscribers’ roaming costs will increase as consumers’ demand for data proliferates following the increased deployment of 5G networks. Operators need to launch travel mobility services aimed specifically at long-term travelers that do not wish to incur these roaming charges or are likely to become permanent roamers.
Operators must provide travel mobility services to subscribers roaming on their network to maximise the opportunities in the travel mobility market provided by eSIMs and minimise the potential for roaming charges.
Mobile operators must offer a user-facing digital platform to subscribers to cut friction in the adoption of these services. These platforms must allow subscribers to self-manage their travel mobility mobile subscriptions, including the setup, data allowance and cancellation in real time.