A survey by roaming specialist Syniverse reveals that the volume of mobile voice calls almost doubled since the changes and the number of text messages went up by a more modest 34%.
But it’s growth in the volume of mobile data that is most significant since the EU introduced the new regulations on 15 June 2017 – after years of gradually reducing the maximum rates for voice and data roaming.
Syniverse – which works with 1,000 mobile network operators worldwide – analysed the volume of roaming traffic within the 28 nations of the EU in July, August and September 2017 and compared it with the same three months of 2016.
The key result was that mobile data grew by 308% year on year – implying that roaming data was more than four times what it was in July, August and September 2016.
This will impact on mobile telcos’ results as they start coming in, says Syniverse, because they will no longer include revenue from EU subscriber roaming fees, which under the regulations have been abolished.
“Industry watchers expect that operators will report noticeably lower revenue in this quarter’s earnings, as they are now unable to charge roaming fees to EU subscribers when they roam within the EU,” added Syniverse.
Roam like home behaviour is now revealing changes to subscribers’ service expectations. They now expect to be able to use their device and have access to the same high-quality experiences when they travel as they do at home – and they won’t pay any more to do so.
A few years ago, Juniper predicted that roaming revenue would increase to US$90 billion globally from 2012 to 2018 but only if operators adjusted retail roaming pricing.