2015 changed the nature of international connectivity completely with an explosive rise in data roaming all over the world.
The substantial increase in data usage has demonstrated a strong user appetite which has been nurtured by a combination of business’ going digital, adoption of latest technology, more competitive retail data pricing and increasing smartphone reliance. The EU Parliament’s latest decision to support a further reduction in voice and data roaming charges within Europe is a testimonial of changing telecommunication landscape.
Having already experienced significant triple-digit growth in 2015 of the LTE roaming traffic, service providers are now preparing for a further increase in demand fuelled by the introduction of reduced tariffs in Europe and beyond. These factors will also lead to further reductions in the number of silent roamers, which will boost the overall market growth.
Additionally, operators who have launched VoLTE nationally are now looking into rolling out international VoLTE services as their domestic offering is well appreciated by the end-users. 2015 was the year of LTE roaming roll out and BICS anticipates 2016 will very much be the year of VoLTE and other enhanced services built on IMS, including enhanced messaging and RCS.
Knowledge is power, and during the next twelve months we expect an increased focus on examining the customer’s journey to provide customised ‘Best Buy’ offerings to the end-users. This entails enhancing the quality of connectivity offered for the international services, gaining a complete view of where the traffic is emanating from and any potential difficulties on the network in order to maximise the roaming experience.
From BICS’ perspective, we face a new dawn in the subscriber behaviour. There is an opportunity going forward for operators to make innovative changes to their international communications and data roaming strategies, including pricing plans, to counteract the depletion in voice and data revenues with the capitalisation of the growth of in-bound and out-bound traffic. This is an opportunity which must be grasped by the operators.
To achieve this, BICS anticipates a greater number of operators will roll out extensive big data analytics tools, enabling them to fine-tune their strategy, services, and retail offerings, and ultimately provide consumers with the highest quality services.
We are looking ahead into an exciting year, stay with us for the latest developments as we pioneer again into the future of next generation communications.