Mobile Data Roaming Revenue To Soar in 5 Years
Mobile data roaming with account for upto 56 percent of global roaming revenues by 2019, generating approximately $50 billion as data use grows, according to global analyst firm Ovum. Increasing uptake of smartphones and SIM-enabled tablets and deployment of LTE networks is driving the growth of mobile data usage, says the telecom analyst firm.
According to the report, Europe continues to be the largest contributor to global roaming revenues, accounting for 46 per cent of global roaming, according to the latest forecasts, with much of the revenue growth coming from within the EU. Revenue contribution is also on the increase in Asia, particularly central and southern Asia, which is expected to grow at a compound average growth rate of 12 percent over the next five years, one of the highest rates globally, says the study.
The study notes that as voice revenues begin to stagnate, mobile data will experience greater and greater growth, as data heavy services like streaming video and data sharing grow in popularity. “The increasing penetration of smartphones and SIM-enabled tablets, alongside the deployment of LTE networks, is driving the growth of mobile data usage, with users expecting the same services everywhere, whether at home or abroad,” it says.
“The sheer size of the region contributes to the increase, as does the fact that mobile services will penetrate further into these markets over the forecast period, and the overall propensity to roam is set to improve gradually,” observes Ovum senior analyst, Nishi Verma Nangia.
The report states that mobile data will experience the fastest revenue growth over the forecast period. Ovum expects this will drive growth of roaming revenues as voice revenues begin to deteriorate.
Ovum said mobile users increasingly want to use the same services everywhere, whether they are at home or traveling overseas.
“To meet these expectations, operators are extending the reach of their LTE networks through agreements with operators in other markets, and in doing so are laying a solid foundation to allow travelers to maintain the same high-speed access to the Internet they have while in their home markets, ” said Nangia.
The report also states that roaming growth remains hindered by the cost of roaming and what Ovum describes as “the legacy of bill shock.” Nangia however argues that “it’s not pricing alone; operators need to demonstrate the relevance of roaming service to travelers, particularly in emerging markets, to encourage roaming adoption.”
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