The rise in revenues predicted by Juniper Research is despite a global fall in data revenues by 11% in 2017, including a 46% decline in West Europe – with the decline attributed to operators increasingly offering RLAH (Roam Like at Home) packages around the world.
The new research — Mobile Roaming: Regulations, Opportunities & Emerging Sectors 2017-2022 — found that the introduction of unlimited roaming data plans in the US, Europe, and Far East would significantly drive usage by mobile roamers, leading to average data usage exceeding 1GB by the end of 2020.
“There is very limited room for improvement on voice roaming in terms of increasing the scale of revenue. However, with data, alongside the potential to offer customised, contextual roaming bundles and services, the cost per MB is expected to fall significantly in most regions. This will encourage ‘non-data’ roamers to become active roamers,” says research author Nitin Bhas.
But, says Juniper, “Silent Roamers” exercise caution, or do not use voice and data services at all while roaming, “thus are a non-user segment”.
And according to Juniper’s research, this behaviour continues to represent a “huge challenge” to operators both in terms of customer satisfaction and lost revenue.
Juniper estimates, however, that silent roamers declined to 67% of mobile roamers by the end of 2016, down from 71% in 2015.
Furthermore, Juniper forecasts a further decline to 53% by 2022, as operators focus more on silent roamers, and says this sector will continue to offer a far larger opportunity than increasing usage amongst active roamers to offset revenue losses.
For further insights download Juniper’s free whitepaper The Rise & Fall of the Roaming Empire 2017.