Revenue generated from mobile roaming is expected to hit $80 billion by 2017 due to an increase in data usage and a reduction in roaming charges.
Despite these price reductions, a report by Juniper Research reveals that roaming revenue as a whole is still growing. This year, roaming revenues totaled about $46 billion, which is dramatically lower than the predicted rate for 2017.
Many markets introduced roaming regulations to protect customers from receiving through-the-roof charges on their phone bills. Overall, these changes had a significant effect in bringing down charges, and 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.
Report author Nitin Bhas said operators have the chance to enhance roaming revenues and profit margins through Wi-Fi and M2M.
“There is an increasing number of SIMs used not just within handsets but within an M2M capacity," Bhas said. "Operators need to encourage M2M roaming, especially within the telematics segment, via partnerships with global operators.
Data revenue will grow at a CAGR of 21 percent, according to the report, and it will account for an increasing proportion of roaming revenue over the forecast period. Juniper also found that the proportion of SMS roaming revenue to the global roaming revenue will decline over the forecast period.