Worldwide mobile data roaming revenues is expected to reach $35bn between by 2017, growing at 21% per year, according to a report by Juniper Research.
According to the report, ‘Mobile Roaming: Challenges, Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2012-2017’, the revenue will be mainly driven by rise in number of active data roamers using data services while abroad.
The report revealed that the total mobile roaming revenues to reach more than $80bn by 2017, rising from over $46bn this year.
During the forecast period, Western Europe will contribute major chuck of the global mobile data roaming revenue.
Data roaming could be a key growth driver for the mobile operator with the data usage rising due to proliferation of smartphones.
But the operators could only take advantage of the growth with cost effective package with subscriber control over usage.
The report revealed that the majority of mobile users are using voice services when abroad, but this gives mobile operators minimal opportunity to add value or enhance services.
Data roaming, on the other hand, offers operators an opportunity to convert ‘non data’ roamers to turn active users by introducing data bundles and roaming plans.
With growth of data roaming revenues and instant messaging apps, SMS roaming adoption and revenue growth is expected to remain modest, relative to data and voice revenues, the report found.
Report author Nitin Bhas said: "As data roaming costs are further reduced and smartphone owners find so-called OTT (Over-the-Top) services – such as eBuddy and Whatsapp – a cheaper alternative, the average spend per SMS roaming will decline over the forecast period,"