2021 OPERATOR ROAMING STRATEGIES: VOLTE & 5G ROAMING ROLLOUT TO REMAIN ON TRACK, DESPITE COVID-19 IMPACT
NEW KALEIDO INTELLIGENCE MNO SURVEY FINDS SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON ROAMING TRAFFIC AND REVENUES, BUT MNO OUTLOOK REMAINS POSITIVE
7th December 2020, London, UK: Despite the negative impact on mobile roaming traffic and revenues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile network operators remain overwhelmingly committed to VoLTE and 5G roaming rollouts over the next 6-18 months.
The new 2021 Operator Roaming Strategies survey, conducted by roaming and connectivity research experts Kaleido Intelligence, found that operators are witnessing a significant impact on mobile roaming traffic due to COVID-19. Nearly 32% reported a decline of 25-50% in traffic during the first half of 2020, followed by 43% reporting delays of over 50%.
Kaleido conducted an industry survey in October 2020 to understand the impact of COVID-19 on Mobile Roaming. This second edition of the COVID-19 Impact on Mobile Roaming survey was developed by Kaleido in partnership with leading industry stakeholders. The survey focussed on the impact on roaming traffic and revenues, timescales for 5G roaming and VoLTE deployment, IoT roaming outlook and roaming recovery strategies.
The survey found that only 4% of the respondents confirmed delays to VoLTE, 5G non-standalone and 5G standalone roaming rollouts; while a further 9% reported delays to introducing/deploying new roaming analytics platforms.
Nitin Bhas, Strategy & Insights Lead at Kaleido explained: “Our Q4 2020 survey update has revealed some exciting insights. MNOs seem to have made the right decision by not succumbing to the negative impact of COVID-19 and opting not to delay their VoLTE, 5G and IoT roaming deployments.”
Key findings from the survey
- Participating MNOs are currently in the process of implementing or planning necessary steps to protect roaming revenues in the short and medium–term, with renegotiating wholesale agreements and tariffs high on their priority list. This was followed by strategies to focus on new IoT services and verticals as well as cost reduction to manage profits.
- Analytics to identify and manage IoT and M2M traffic was found to be the most important requirement for mobile operators, with 69% finding this to be of high importance.
- 56% of respondents believe that IoT roaming traffic will witness negative growth over the coming months, with only 34% believing traffic to continue its growth in 2020 and 2021. However, an overwhelming majority (nearly 80%) believes that COVID-19 will have a positive impact on cellular IoT where business and/or new automation strategies are concerned.
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The survey was completed by over 50 respondents across leading operators around the world and was typically from the roaming business units.
About Kaleido Intelligence
Kaleido Intelligence is a specialist consulting and market research firm with a proven track record delivering telecom research at the highest level. Kaleido Intelligence is the only research company addressing mobile roaming in its entirety, covering:
- Data Forecasts by Market
- Historical & Forecast Viewpoints
- Competitive Intelligence
- Strategic Insight
- Trend Analysis
Research is led by expert analysts, each with significant experience delivering telco research and insights that matter.