Skip to main content

How the Pandemic Impacts International Mobile Roaming

When you consider all the industries most impacted by the economic disruption in 2020, telecom service providers likely do not come to mind. However, global mobile communications revenue was significantly impacted last year.

Moreover, within the United Kingdom, the situation for incumbent mobile service providers will become even more complex and challenging during 2021, and beyond. All because of Brexit.

International Mobile Roaming Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, the number of international mobile roaming subscribers dropped by 73 percent to 243 million globally in 2020 -- caused by travel restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Juniper analysts predict that an improvement in mobile roaming subscriber numbers will take until 2024 to exceed 2019 levels; reaching 918 million by 2024, as the international travel industry embarks on a prolonged recovery from the long-term impacts of the pandemic.

The new market study findings also predict that mobile network operators in North America will be amongst the first to recover from the impacts of the global pandemic on the roaming market.

Juniper's analysis found that the region will account for 23 percent of global roaming revenue by 2025, as border restrictions are lifted and demand for international travel returns to somewhat normal levels.


The market study findings also highlight that North America's recovery will likely be aided by the region’s early adoption of fifth-generation (5G) wireless services, with mobile network operators able to increase roaming revenue through the provision of advanced functionality to subscribers.

In response to further anticipated global economic challenges, Juniper analysts urge all mobile network operators to focus on expanding 5G roaming agreements in 2021 to capitalize on this revenue growth in the foreseeable future.

The research forecasts that the UK will account for 11 percent of mobile roaming subscribers in Europe by 2025, increasing from 8 percent in 2020, demonstrating that the revenue opportunity for network operators is growing.

Juniper found accordingly that UK-based mobile communication service providers are now facing pressure to form individual bilateral agreements with network operators in Europe to guarantee continued inclusive roaming for UK subscribers.

Outlook for International Mobile Roaming Growth

"Any decisions by UK operators to reintroduce roaming changes would negatively affect customer satisfaction. Operators must approach changes to their roaming policies with caution, in order to avoid an increase in the number of silent roamers and accompanying lost revenue," said Scarlett Woodford, research analyst at Juniper Research.

The implementation of 5G roaming agreements will lead to a range of application benefits, including new opportunities for globally connected Internet of Things (IoT) businesses and high-speed low-latency data transfer, hopefully providing some subscribers with an improved user experience.

I believe that as governments across the globe continue to respond to the ongoing pandemic crisis, and manufacturing supply chain stability may be difficult to achieve, we could see other technology-oriented business sectors make adjustments to their future 'revenue recovery' forecasts.

That said, the current relatively slow increase of COVID-19 vaccinations means that most commercial growth projections are very difficult to predict. Clearly, the potential for continued global market volatility merely adds more complexity to the process of forward-looking strategic planning.

Popular posts from this blog

Wireless Solutions Advance Work from Home Trends

Despite a challenging backdrop from the ongoing effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the negative impact on fifth-generation (5G) wireless supply chains has been minimal compared to the wider mobile smartphone market. This led to 5G mobile devices becoming more diverse, brought to market quickly at a variety of price points, thereby accelerating affordability and adoption. The mobile market is transitioning to 5G and many leading vendors are now exploring the low-priced 5G smartphone segment. According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, 681 million 5G handsets will be shipped in 2022. Therefore, the race is on for OEMs to find that all-important level of differentiation in their flagship portfolios to help boost margins and improve market share. 5G Wireless Market Development Vendors continue to drive the adoption of new product designs, screen technology, chipsets, and camera setups -- notably within the flagship smartphone segment. Meanwhile, the leaders seek a

Software-Defined Infrastructure: The Platform of Choice

As more organizations adapt to a hybrid working model for their distributed workforce, enterprise CIOs and CTOs are tasked with delivering new productivity-enabling applications, while also seeking ways to effectively reduce IT cost, complexity, and risk. Traditional IT hardware infrastructure is evolving to more software-based solutions. The worldwide software-defined infrastructure (SDI) combined software market reached $12.17 billion during 2020 -- that's an increase of 5 percent over 2019, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). The market grew faster than other core IT technologies. The three technology pillars within the SDI market are: software-defined compute (53 percent of market value), software-defined storage controller (36 percent), and software-defined networking (11 percent). "Software-defined infrastructure solutions have long been popular for companies looking to eliminate cost, complexity, and risk within their data cente

Digital Identity Verification Market to Reach $16.7B

As more enterprise organizations embrace the ongoing transition to digital business transformation, CIOs and CTOs are adopting new technologies that enable the secure identification of individuals within their key stakeholder communities. A "digital identity" is a unique representation of a person. It enables individuals to prove their physical identity during transactions. Moreover, a digital identity is a set of validated digital attributes and credentials for online interactions -- similar to a person's identity within the physical world. Individuals can use a 'digital ID' to be verified through an authorized digital channel. Usually issued or regulated by a national ID scheme, a digital identity serves to identify a unique person online or offline. Digital Identity Systems Market Development Complementary to more traditional forms of identification, digital identity verification systems can enhance the authenticity, security, confidentiality, and efficiency of