Just last month, the European Union (EU) brought into force new limits for roaming charges within all member countries. The result is a significant reduction in the amount mobile service providers (MSPs) can now charge their customers for making or receiving calls abroad.
The change will also bring down the cost of accessing the Internet. This will come as welcome news for most smartphone users, allowing them to access those all important social media apps when on vacation and preventing the unpleasant experience of subsequent “bill shock” on their return.
For the past six years, the EU has been forcing prices down by placing a cap on the charges mobile service providers can impose and reducing that limit each year. The latest cuts will see the maximum cost of making a call fall by almost a fifth, to 24 euro cents a minute. But the biggest change is to data charges – the cost of using the Internet or applications which use a mobile service providers’ data network. That will fall by roughly a third, to 45 euro cents per megabyte.
The good news
This spells good news for countries like Croatia, soon to become EU members. Just last year, someone within the country who was checking their social media accounts every day, for half an hour a day, for the duration of one week, would run up a bill of over 200 euros. With the new roaming charges rules that will soon be enforced, that will drop close to 90%, to 15 euros.
The bad news
However, note that these reductions will only apply within the borders of the European Union. In other countries, charges both for making calls and for using the Internet will continue to remain high and, most likely, be out of the budget of most consumers.
So how will this impact the mobile service providers themselves? You would think that, based on such a drop in related charges, their revenues or margins would be hit significantly. To a certain extent that may well be true, but expect this to be offset by an increase in the number of consumers now willing to actually utilize roaming services.
Learn more: Use Mobile Data Traffic to Improve CX
Qoe in the Digital Transformation Era
More on roaming
In order to do that we recently sat down with Graham Kunz to discuss the next evolution of mobile technology. With Graham’s background in service assurance for wireless customers, it was an interesting conversation that I hope you will find useful.
OGS selected the Empirix service assurance monitoring solution to gain visibility into the international connections providing carriers with access to its voice (both legacy circuit-switched and VoIP) and 2G/3G roaming services. With Empirix, OGS has uninterrupted visibility of network performance and service quality, as well as the ability proactively identify potential issues before they negatively impact customers. This flexible solution is capable of adapting to new technologies and innovative new services; OGS plans to extend the Empirix solution’s coverage to a recently announced LTE roaming service.
Integrating Verios’ and Empirix’s analytical, troubleshooting, monitoring and management capabilities will give wireless providers unprecedented capabilities for managing their networks from their customers’ perspectives.
LTE is spreading across the globe. Yet Mobile Service Providers still have to figure out how to best leverage the speed and capacity that LTE brings to create value for their customers – not to mention how best to generate more revenue.