Communications enabler BICS has announced that 4G/LTE roaming traffic across its global network grew by over 95% in 2018, almost double that of 2017. This continues the trend for significant year-on-year 4G/LTE roaming traffic growth, and demonstrates the surging subscriber appetite for connectivity, wherever they are in the world.
In 2019 this traffic looks set to increase further, as the estimated 20% of European subscribers still to take advantage of the 2017 ‘Roam Like at Home’ legislation embrace the benefits of cost-efficient roaming. BICS predicts that global 4G LTE roaming growth is likely to increase at 40-50% year-on-year, with knowledge amongst subscribers increasing, and operators offering more competitive packages.
This also adds weight to industry observers who went against the view of operators at the time that reducing roaming tariffs would have a negative impact on the market and their ability to invest.
“4G/LTE roaming has opened up a plethora of opportunities for individual subscribers and businesses alike,” said Mikaël Schachne, VP Mobility Solutions, BICS. “European subscribers have enjoyed being able to ‘Roam Like at Home’ and now seek high quality, affordable roaming services, wherever they travel.
This is forcing operators in other regions outside of the EU to match the European offering by coming together to offer more cost-effective packages to subscribers.
Since 2014, BICS’ 4G/LTE roaming footprint has grown by 316%, from 44 countries to 183. While the total number of operators using 4G/LTE globally has grown from 70 in 2014 to 610 in 2018, the number using the company’s LTE solution has now reached 200.
Operators are able to establish roaming and inter-working agreements with other over 610 members on the BICS network. The platform allows customers to offer their subscribers high quality data roaming with other MNOs, MVNOs, MVNEs, fixed network operators, ISPs and ASPs globally.
Once customers are used to leaving their devices switched on while travelling the innovation and uptake of new services can only keep going – upwards.