The mobile roaming enabler saw more than twice as much traffic on its network during the first week of October compared to 2022
International travel to and from China doubled during the national “Golden Week” holiday compared to last year, suggesting a steady recovery after travel restrictions finally ended earlier this year. This is according to data from BICS, the international connectivity enabler whose network carries around half of the world’s data roaming traffic.
The October Golden Week in China celebrates National Day, marking the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The week-long holiday includes nationwide festivities, and many Chinese people take the opportunity to travel or spend time with family. Because of this, the week is one of the year’s busiest for tourism in the Asia, with more people travelling domestically as well as into and out of the country.
While reports are mixed on this year’s Golden Week’s impact on China’s economy, data from BICS shows the week drove a large spike in roaming data volume during the period. With China removing its three-year-long COVID travel restrictions at the start of this year, this shows the first promising signs of travel recovery across the region.
BICS reported the level of inbound roamers (people travelling into the country) across the week increased by 152% from the previous year. While outbound roamers (people travelling from China) doubled from last year.
“East Asia’s post-pandemic recovery has been much slower than in other regions around the world, so it’s encouraging to see international travel pick up across our network here,” says Frederic Salmon, Managing Director Asia Pacific, BICS. “Since BICS carries such a high percentage of the world’s data roaming traffic, our data often tells a story, and in this case, suggests that international travel in China is heading towards recovery and growth. As travel and digitalisation are key growth drivers across Asia-Pacific, BICS is ready to meet its customers’ international connectivity needs, providing seamless roaming experience anywhere in the world.”
With its regional headquarters for Asia-Pacific in Singapore, and regional presence in China and Malaysia, BICS has been a key player in international communications across APAC for many years. As an international roaming specialist, BICS enables – and in many cases directly manages – the transfer of traffic between mobile operators across national and international borders. BICS also plays a key role in the development of 5G connectivity in the region, supporting Asia’s first-ever 5G Standalone (SA) roaming connection alongside AIS, Thailand’s biggest mobile operator.