Mobile roaming to generate nearly $90 billion for mobile operators by 2018, says Juniper

As a result of increased mobile data usage, mobile roaming will generate nearly $90 billion for mobile operators by 2018, or 8 percent of mobile operators' billed service revenues, predicts Juniper Research.

Mobile data roaming alone will generate more than $42 billion in operator revenues by 2018, Juniper adds.

At the same time, silent roamers, travelers who exercise restraint regarding use of voice or data services while roaming, present a "huge challenge" to mobile operators in terms of customer satisfaction and revenue generation, says Juniper.

Silent roamers are "costing the industry billions each year in lost revenue opportunity, given the millions of inbound and outbound roamers as well as the expansion of data traffic over flattening voice usage," comments Nitin Bhas, Juniper analyst and report author.

Mobile operators can encourage silent roamers to use data while roaming by offering roaming service packages.

In addition, specialist service providers have begun to offer in-flight mobile roaming through partnerships with mobile operators and airlines. One of these specialist service providers, AeroMobile has teamed with Lufthansa to offer in-flight mobile data services, The Telegraph newspaper reports.

Lufthansa passengers will be able to use their smartphones to send text messages, check emails and browse the Internet using the Lufthansa FlyNet service. The charges are billed to their mobile operator.

Data roaming charges are hefty. Mobile operator O2 charges £6 ($10) per megabyte (MB) of data outside the European Union, while Vodafone charges £3 ($5) per MB and Orange £8 ($13) per MB, according to the newspaper.

For more:
- check out the Juniper release
- read The Telegraph article

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