MNOs Now Really Feel the Pain of EU Roaming
By Anthony Floyd, MOBOLIZE | Director of Mobile Partnerships
Late last year, following the MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) Europe conference, I shared how the industry has seen a seismic shift of cost burden from the consumer to the mobile operator as a result of the EU’s Roam-Like-Home legislation.
This was always going to be great news for consumers. (I know we’ve all benefited from not paying more on holiday).
In Madrid last week at the annual MVNO World Congress, it certainly seemed that for the first time the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) were sharing just how much Roam-Like-Home is hurting them.
Figures are now beginning to show that the MNOs are experiencing up to 30X increase in roaming traffic. It’s also clear there is more to come with some operators citing they are seeing up to 30% silent roamers who are still wary of using their mobile abroad!
Unsurprisingly, now that operators can’t charge more for the luxury of using your mobile abroad, they are all complaining of significant reductions in revenue. The old guard are seemingly stuck in the old-school world of trying to mitigate the challenge within the traditional confines of balancing traffic. But many MNOs and MVNOs simply don’t have that solution as an option given the nature of their traffic profiles. As far as I’m aware, a lot more EU nationals’ summer holidays are in Greece and Spain than in the UK.
So where will all this lead, and how will the operators fill this revenue gap? The revenue hole is certainly going to get bigger, that’s for sure. No doubt, this time next year, we’ll know by how much. #MVNOWorldCongressAmsterdam2019
What could operators do? Well, apart from finding some other way of increasing customers costs or selling them more stuff, they could look at reducing their costs by implementing value-added solutions. After-all who NEEDS to watch video in full 1080HD on their sunbed on a 5-inch screen anyway? The average mobile user couldn’t tell the difference between 1080 and 480.
What if operators secured Wi-Fi sessions to keep all their customers’ online activities safe, including at hotels and restaurants, as an added benefit? Vacationers (or anyone roaming) would be more likely to use Wi-Fi in those settings. Plus, Secure Wi-Fi would not only be an added incentive to accept 480-video, but also help the operator further reduce costs and protect from future price increases.
I’d call that a win-win.