Only around a fifth of respondents to the Telecoms.com Intelligence Industry Survey 2014 strongly believe that mobile operators are justified in charging LTE roaming at a premium to other roaming services. But even fewer expect that specialist roaming providers will come to dominate the retail roaming market, suggesting that mobile operators will continue to derive vital revenues from roaming, despite pressure on tariffs from competition and regulation.
From the summer, Vodafone claims it will offer LTE roaming to more countries than any other mobile operator and it will not charge a premium for such services.
The European Commission has published research that suggests Europe’s mobile operators are missing out on business from 300 million customers by charging roaming premiums within the EU. The research forms part of the EC’s continuing drive to end EU roaming charges.
Indian carrier services firm Tata Communications has announced that its network is now ready to supply VoLTE services to operators connected to its IPX.
LTE came to market with a price premium but during 2013 the industry saw instances of that premium eroding under competitive pressure. The Telecoms.com Intelligence Industry Survey 2014 set out to see how the industry feels about price premiums that are likely to be attached to LTE roaming and found that less than half of respondents agreed LTE roaming should command a premium.
The carrier services arm of Telecom Italia, TI Sparkle, has announced an LTE roaming peering agreement with wholesaler iBasis, a subsidiary of Dutch operator group KPN.
US operator AT&T has signed an LTE roaming agreement in the UK with EE. The agreement was announced just days after the US firm inked a similar deal in Canada with Rogers Communications.
As the European Commission’s push to bring down roaming rates across the region gains traction, French operator group Orange has devised an offer aimed at tourists travelling to France, in a bid to combat bill shock.
Portuguese business assurance specialist WeDo Technologies has announced a partnership with incumbent operator Portugal Telecom (PT) that will see the firm’s rating validation and roaming management solutions offered on a SaaS model as part of PT’s new enterprise cloud offering, SmartCloudPT.
US operator T-Mobile has announced that it is cutting data roaming costs for its customers when they are travelling in more than 100 countries worldwide. The move, announced Wednesday evening by CEO John Legere, builds on the firm’s pricing overhauls in March, when it cut contract lengths and separated the cost of device from the cost of service, lowering monthly rates.
The European Commission has outlined its plan for a single EU telecoms market. The package calls for the abolition of roaming rates within the EU, spectrum assignment to be coordinated across the continent, consumer rights to be harmonised across Europe, EU-wide protection of net neutrality and simpler rules across the EU to enable companies invest more and cross borders with their offerings.
SK Telecom appears to be leading the charge in terms of international LTE roaming, having extended its 4G connection services to Canada and Switzerland.
The Informer spent much of this week in sunny Amsterdam, basking in the glow of the world’s most advanced LTE networks, as early adopters and keen followers shot the breeze at LTE World Summit. What was interesting, was that the talk on the conference floor was all very heavy and technical, compared to the usual marketing gloss and business-case chat the Informer is used to hearing. Still, whereas the problems highlighted at those kind of gatherings are often identified as technical, the guys responsible for the technology were this time pointing the finger at commercial issues.
Swisscom claims to have performed the world’s first intercontinental LTE roaming connection between Europe and Asia, having opened up roaming services with South Korea.
Technology executives at some of Scandinavia’s biggest carriers told the audience at LTE World Summit today that, while technical hurdles are easy to overcome, more complex commercial issues mean a single mobile market without roaming borders is still some years away.
Once used primarily to restrict subscribers who had exceeded usage thresholds, policy has evolved into a key enabler for data service monetisation, says David Sharpley, Vice President and General Manager of the Data Experience Business Unit at Amdocs.
The ITU has long endeavoured to forge a global spectrum harmonisation plan, but the vast differences in availability and specific requirements from country to country have made such a task impossible. Now any hopes of establishing an international roaming band for LTE look set to be dashed on the rocks of fragmentation.
More operators are increasingly turning their attention to roaming now that LTE deployments are emerging from the initial rollout stage. This week Swisscom joined the early adopters in providing LTE roaming services, courtesy of Ericsson.
Starting this week, European operators are looking at the development of a coherent strategy to prepare for the arrival of roaming MVNOs in 2014. From May 14 to June 3, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) is holding a public consultation on draft guidelines in relation to regulated retail roaming services.
In recent years we have seen networks and devices evolve to offer customers faster and more reliable data services than ever before. Customers have become accustomed to accessing their photos, playing games and watching videos and much more from their smartphones in their home markets. Despite this, when it comes to international roaming, only a small proportion of consumers are enjoying these services when they are abroad.