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EU Roaming Revenue Gone. What Next For Operators?

From 15th June the EU announced that roaming charges no longer apply across the European Union. Whilst abroad on business or holiday you will be charged the same as you would in your home network.

What does this mean for mobile operators across the EU? Quite simply, a large loss of revenue.

Having talked to clients in Eastern Europe, this will hit really hard as the margins in their home networks are already wafer thin and roaming charges are a critical source of revenue. Operators have argued that this will reduce investment in their networks, having a detrimental effect on subscribers in the long term. Naturally they would say this as it’s going to affect their bottom line, and who wants to take a hit on their balance sheet due to changes in legislation? There are some glimmers of hope for operators as there is a “Fair Use Limit” policy for data consumed while roaming. If the pre-agreed fair usage is exceeded, operators can charge.

Quite how effective EU regulators will be in policing and enforcing these changes remains to be seen, but operators are going to have to adapt. From a technical point of view, what are the options for operators? In other markets we have seen nefarious practises adopted whereby operators configure or deploy GMSC/MSCs to surreptitiously drop incoming roaming calls. Obviously this is a short-sighted and problematic approach, which could lead to legal implications. Also, with the continued rollout of 4G networks there’s a need to insure that roaming between 2G, 3G and 4G networks is seamless. In light of the described changes in roaming charges, this may feel like another cost burden to an operator, but nevertheless one they need to embrace. It is here that Squire Technologies can help with our 4G Roaming Solutions that allow operators to commercially and technically begin small and scale up when demand dictates…

For more information on our Roaming Solutions click here.

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