In uncertain times, it is promising to see that long-term mobile roaming traffic and revenue growth remains on the horizon. The global tourism market is expected to fall by 11 per cent in 2020 as a result of COVID-19. However, the latest research from Kaleido Intelligence suggests that roaming traffic will continue to grow year-on-year, albeit at a slower rate than previously forecast. In 2024, mobile data traffic generated by roaming consumer mobile devices is now expected to reach 1,400 PB, up from 600PB in 2019.
So, what else does this mean for the international roaming market? And what other developments are contributing to this trend? Here are three key factors.
Consumers and 5G
Consumer mobile device traffic will account for most of this forecast growth, with the European Roam Like at Home initiative a key revenue driver for operators that is expected to grow these numbers further.
This trend is evolving in tandem with commercial 5G expansion, and service providers around the world are launching 5G roaming to support growing demand for high-speed connectivity.
At the forefront of data roaming, BICS has been identified as the leading IPX provider by Kaleido. The BICS platform will be at the heart of this continued growth, providing the inter-working agreements, interoperability and the IPX network expansion necessary to guarantee the high quality of service that 5G roaming demands.
VoLTE roaming continues to be a stumbling block for global operators. The decommissioning of 2G and 3G networks means subscribers could be left without voice services when roaming on LTE networks unless action is taken. VoLTE roaming is the only option and, despite previous hurdles to this, the market is now witnessing an accelerated rollout of VoLTE networks together with a steady increase in VoLTE roaming partnership announcements.
Kaleido predicts VoLTE connections will grow from 2.1 billion in 2019 to 5.9 billion by 2024, facilitated by the GSMA and providers like BICS that enable end-to-end VoLTE roaming services. As an experienced VoLTE enabler, BICS removes the hassle of VoLTE roaming by facilitating communications between operators and ensuring quality of service. This allows service providers to continue to meet subscriber demand without interruption.
A third, increasingly important, factor is global operator adoption of next-generational analytics and campaign management platforms. As roaming levels increase, so too does demand for this technology to better understand travel patterns, usage, and quality of service capabilities.
Roaming analytics solutions have also seen high adoption as a vehicle for fraud detection and silent roamer activation, safeguarding revenues. BICS’ intelligence and analytics solutions analyse over two billion records in near real-time every day, helping operators to create more profitable roaming businesses.
Taking all these factors into account, the future remains bright for the roaming businesses of global operators in the long-term. Particularly for those that make the right investments into the latest cutting-edge roaming technologies.