Operators to reap more than $80bn from mobile roaming by 2017, says Juniper Research

Telecom Lead U.K: Mobile operator revenues generated from mobile roaming is expected to exceed $80 billion by 2017, according to Juniper Research.

Mobile roaming (source: blog.onesuite.com)

These revenues will largely be driven by increasing data usage and a reduction in roaming charges. This equates to almost 8 percent of operator billed revenues by 2017, says the report Mobile Roaming: Challenges, Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2012-2017.

Roaming revenue is increasing despite price reductions.

Data revenue will grow at a CAGR of 21 percent and will account for an increasing proportion of roaming revenue over the forecast period

The proportion of SMS roaming revenue to the global roaming revenue will decline over the forecast period.

Roaming regulations and legislation have been introduced in a number of markets, most notably the EU.

These have been invoked in an attempt to protect customers against escalating charges and to preserve competition amongst operators. In the main, these changes have had a significant effect in bringing down charges and reducing the chances of ‘bill shock’ from roaming costs.

While regulations and unilateral moves by operators have had the effect of slowing down revenue growth in specific areas of the world, roaming revenue as a whole is still growing.

With global airline travel recovering from the poor economic climate, particularly in the Asian region, roaming opportunities for operators is looking very positive. The report found that the number of active mobile roamers is set to significantly increase over the period, as a result of retail price reductions.

The report highlights there is a need to acknowledge the increasing opportunities presented by WiFi and M2M roaming, and the potential to integrate these into existing operational strategies. Operators have the opportunity to enhance their roaming revenues and profit margins via Wi-Fi and M2M.

“There is an increasing number of SIMs used not just within handsets but within an M2M capacity. Operators need to encourage M2M roaming, especially within the telematics segment, via partnerships with global operators,” report author Nitin Bhas said.

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