A new report from communications research consultancy Juniper Research expects the number of worldwide roaming subscribers using 5G services to increase from 4.5 million this year to 210 million in 2026. Its report, 5G Roaming Strategies: Future Outlook, Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2021-2026, encourages mobile operators to increase their 5G roaming support and to develop 5G-enabled roaming features such as roaming analytics, sponsored roaming and ‘steering’ of roaming usage to favoured partners.
The report predicts that competition between 5G networks will intensify as roaming availability increases, noting that users will expect bandwidth and latency when roaming to compare favourably with their home networks. This will drive roaming providers to introduce value-added services to meet this demand.
Global roaming data traffic from 5G subscribers is expected to increase from 2.6 petabytes (2.6 million gigabytes) in 2021 to 770 PB by 2026.
Scarlett Woodford, the author of the research report, said “As demand for international travel returns, operators must adjust to the significant uptake of 5G subscriptions during the pandemic. A failure to provide 5G roaming capabilities in key travel destinations will diminish brand reputation amongst subscribers and lead to churn to competitors.”