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Mobile data to drive roaming revenue

Juniper Research says operator revenues generated from mobile roaming will pass USD80 billion by 2017, compared to over USD46 billion this year. These revenues will largely be driven by increasing data usage and a reduction in roaming charges. This equates to almost 8% of operator billed revenues by 2017.

Juniper says in a new report that 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.

The report notes that 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 observed that 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. Report author Nitin Bhas noted that 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,”  Bhas added.

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