Earlier this year the European Parliament voted to impose a ban on roaming charges faced by mobile phone users. The legislation will not be enforced until the 15th of December 2015 and forms part of a wider telecoms reform.
Those of us who travel across Europe from the UK are generating a staggering £112 million in income for our service providers through our use of mobiles whilst abroad. It comes as no surprise that over 20% of UK travellers turn their mobile phones off whilst abroad. Not knowing what the impending bill will be when we return is one of the biggest drivers of this trend.
Whilst the EU’s ‘Digital Agenda’ has been responsible for driving prices down through an annually reducing cap on operators charges, the abolition of roaming charges across Europe is likely to wipe around 2% off mobile operator revenues. That said it appears that whilst the operators may be seeing a reduction in revenue from voice, our tendency to consume data has increased substantially. Those operators who capitalize on this behavior, as well as keeping their customers informed of data roaming charges are more likely to ensure the bulk of their customers will be happy to use their mobile phones whilst roaming.
The first UK operator to tackle roaming charges head on is Three with their ‘Feel at Home’ service – which is now available in 16 different countries. Their roaming package seems to deliver a ‘cut down’ version of their home network service, but it has clearly been tailored to provide their customers with a high degree of transparency on their mobile usage abroad.
In response to these market dynamics CTI Group developed Analysis RT (Real Time) to help identify ‘bill-shock’ before it becomes a problem. This out of the box module fully integrates with our Analysis ebilling and analytics solution, thus eliminating the need for Service Providers to develop their own solutions. In addition it helps avoid customer churn by providing customers with access to real-time billing data, allowing them to monitor for exceptional or unexpected usage patterns. Using Analysis RT customers can set up multiple alerts specific to their business needs to trigger when thresholds are reached.
So the benefits of this evolving European legislation could provide operators with:
- Increased revenue from data consumption whilst roaming
- Strategic partnership development through localized network provision
- A customer base of roaming users as the ‘norm’
- Fewer disgruntled customers as their roaming costs are highly transparent