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Lower roaming revenues for Swiss telecom providers

Roaming revenues of Swiss telecom providers continued to decline. Some of the reasons for this are lower standard prices, bundled offers and free Wi-Fi access. In 2016, the total roaming revenues of telecoms providers in Switzerland amounted  around 514 million francs, according to the Federal Office of Communications (Bakom). As a result, sales were down 16 percent year-on-year.
Telephone calls were the most lucrative in roaming services, with providers in Switzerland generating 312.6 million francs in 2016. Nonetheless, there was a decline of nearly 15 percent compared to 2015, even though demand increased by 4 percent overall. In terms of data roaming, total sales in 2016 amounted to 177.6 million francs, 16 percent less than in the previous year. The volume of transmitted data meanwhile doubled to around 1.871 billion megabytes.

SMS are meanwhile used less and less frequently. In 2016, about 152 million messages were sent, about 22 percent less than in 2015. And roaming revenues with SMS dropped by almost 30 percent to 33.4 million Swiss francs. Around 70 percent of Swiss customers were on the phone in 2016 without a discount, ie with the standard roaming tariff.

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According to Bakom, options for lower calling rates tend to be booked less and less over the past six years. “This could be related to the increasing popularity of bundle offers,” said the Federal Office. International talks with EU and EEA countries are often included in full or in part in the subscription price.

 

 Another reason for the decline in roaming revenues is, according to Bakom, increase of  OTT services such as Skype, Viber or WhatsApp over WLAN connections. Hotels, bars or airports usually offer such connections for free.
In addition, there is a seasonal pattern for all roaming services. For example, mobile phones and tablets are used most in the third quarter, ie during the summer holidays, for communication to and from abroad. The situation is quite different during the winter months – despite many holidays and the turn of the year. Roaming charges have also been a feature of the EU and the EEA since last June. Only Swiss mobile users still have to pay for the use of foreign networks. Source

 

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