This growth will represent over 8 percent of the global operator billed revenues by 2018. Juniper notes that these revenues will largely be driven by increasing data usage, primarily from a reduction in roaming charges.
Data roaming represented an estimated 36 percent of the global mobile roaming revenues in 2013.
Silent Roamer Upside Opportunity
However, the findings from the latest Juniper market study revealed that with increasing global travel, there is an increasing prevalence of silent roamers.
Silent roamers exercise caution, or do not use voice and data services at all while roaming, and represent a non-user segment -- essentially a lost opportunity.
This behavior presents a huge challenge to mobile network operators both in terms of customer satisfaction and revenue expansion.
"This is costing the industry billions each year in lost revenue opportunity, given the millions of inbound and outbound roamers as well as the expansion of data traffic over flattening voice usage," said Nitin Bhas, senior analyst at Juniper Research.
Targeting the Non-Data Roamers
Meanwhile, Juniper also noted that as the industry moves aggressively towards a 4G LTE environment, there is an opportunity to encourage the non-data or voice-only roamers to become data roamers.
This upsell can be accomplished via package based roaming services -- where consumers are able to understand what they are paying for in a transparent and easier way.
Other key findings from the study include:
- Mobile network service provider revenues from mobile data roaming to reach over $42 billion by 2018.
- New developments for in-flight roaming have seen specialist service providers such as AeroMobile and OnAir partnering with mobile network and airline fleet operators.