Operator revenue from mobile data roaming is expected to reach $42 billion (£25.5 billion) by 2018, according to a new report from Juniper Research. That means data will generate 47% of all mobile roaming revenue, compared to an estimated 36% last year.
This increase will be driven by increasing data usage, helped by customers moving to 4G and enjoying faster connections. In addition, falling roaming charges will encourage more frequent and heavier usage.
The report also notes that the EU proposal to end roaming charges within Europe would have a significant effect on roaming revenue, causing European voice, SMS and data revenue to fall by over 20% in 2016.
Nitin Bhas, Senior Analyst with Juniper Research and the author of the report, said “Operators need to sort out the right economics to encourage more usage at a value to the end users in order to avoid revenue erosion. They need to also provide services that are both relevant and cost effective to LTE roamers.”