Tuesday, 07 June 2016 01:12

Ovum Mobile Roaming Forecast predicts data growth will offset voice and text declines Featured

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Ovum has updated its view for the outbound Mobile Roaming market for 2015 to 2020, which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.3% in revenue terms between 2015 and 2020, driven by data roaming growth which will offset sharp declines in voice and texting.

Ovum says the anticipated CAGR of 1.3% ‘will be fuelled by Data roaming growth (CAGR 14.8%) that will more than offset the decline in Voice (CAGR -9.0%) and SMS (CAGR -20.2%).’

Ovum also states its "roaming forecast methodology has been revamped due to the fast-changing nature of roaming markets across the globe", and says its "new methodology reflects new consumer pricing trends, as markets transition away from per-unit pricing to more consumer-friendly tariffs (i.e. roaming bundles)".

For the first time, Ovum says "it has forecast roaming revenue for 19 countries, in addition to our traditional forecasts by region".

The report’s co-authors, Nicole McCormick and Dimitris Xydias, added: “Increasing roaming bundles availability, focus on data bundles and transparent pricing from the operators are key to unlocking the silent roamers. We believe operators are on the right track to tap this large potential source of revenues and increase customer loyalty.”

Here are some of the key research findings form the report, dubbed the ‘Mobile Roaming Forecast 2015-2020’ which is naturally on sale to relevant parties at relevant prices:

  • Outbound roaming revenues for EU operators are expected to bottom out in 2018, due to the implementation of the "zero roaming" regulation, before it starts growing again in 2019.
  • Regulators recognise the increasing need for control of the roaming prices in order to protect consumers from a "bill shock". Ovum believes that regulation in the mobile roaming market will continue to increase with the Eurasian Economic Union and Gulf Cooperation Council markets already taking steps to cap, and eventually eliminate, roaming prices in a similar fashion to the EU.
  • The propensity to roam is forecast to increase across the board for both business and consumer travellers due to a number of factors including reduced prices, regulation, smartphone adoption and simplicity to sign up for roaming services.
  • OTT services proliferation will continue to disrupt the market mainly at the expense of Voice and SMS services. However, Ovum believes that their market disruption will help drive roaming Data traffic and revenue in the medium term.
  • Revenues generated by consumer roamers will outpace those of business roamers (53/47%) in 2020 for the first time due to the increasing number of current "silent roamers" that will start using roaming services in the years to come.
  • Operators will continue to offer more and more competitively priced roaming bundles that will help drive traffic and revenue. Ovum’s Innovative Roaming Offers Tracker: 1H16 captures 425 different roaming offers from over 70 operators in 29 countries.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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