Abolition of roaming costs within the EU could save businesses a lot of money, but operators could also benefit in the medium term, says Juniper Researc
The abolition of roaming charges within the European Union will cause roaming revenues generated on the continent to fall by 28 percent after 2017, according to a new report, suggesting businesses will benefit significantly from the new regulations.
Juniper Research says global roaming revenues, estimated to be worth $52 billion, will fall by seven percent, with North America and Asia becoming the biggest roaming markets for operators.
Additional charges for data, calls and texts have been capped for the past few years, with reductions taking place each year. Operators have resisted the changes because of the potential impact on revenue. Some have suggested mobile tariffs might be increased to cover the shortfall.
However Juniper suggests roaming revenues will recover in the medium-term as people start to become more comfortable using their phone abroad. This is the rationale behind Three’s ‘Feel At Home’ offer, which allows customers to use their UK tariffs abroad in a number of countries. The operator claims its subscribers have so far saved more than £1.3 billion since the offer’s introduction in 2013.
“Instead, operators need to encourage more usage; they will need to work with content providers and aggregators even more closely now in order to provide more innovative content services to which users will attach value,” said research author Nitin Bhas.
However the report suggests more must be done to change consumer behaviour, with foreign travellers still switching off roaming upon arrival in a foreign country or preferring to use free Wi-Fi and local SIMs.
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