There are still some markets where the perception persists that roaming is expensive and that means operators are missing out on a valuable business opportunity.
Since 2010, the roaming price premium in the EU has been progressively reduced through regulation aimed at enabling users to “roam like at home” while travelling in the European Single Market. This has encouraged operators to adopt new approaches and has proved that customers will roam when they know, and believe, that the price is right.
The change means that what had previously been a niche service for the business traveller has been transformed into a mass consumer market. Previously “silent” tourists have overcome their inhibitions and 95 percent of European travellers now happily roam.
The rest of the world is also noticing. Increasingly, roaming is an extension of the customer’s domestic plan, and “Roam Like Home” tariffs allow users to tap into their standard home package for a small flat fee. Such tariffs help counter the perception that using mobile services while abroad is expensive. And there’s no doubt it’s working: worldwide 45 percent of international travellers now regularly roam on their mobiles. But that still leaves a silent majority that operators need to engage.
As one of our four pillars of roaming, our Retail Roaming solutions provide the tools which give operators deep insights into their customers and create targeted roaming packages that add value and generate incremental revenue.
Data-driven Personalization is key to both customer engagement and optimising the customer experience. Operators that champion a customer-centric approach can more effectively identify unmet customer needs and translate those needs into actionable insights. As in all aspects of marketing, the objective should be to identify what customer’s want.
As well as helping our operator partners introduce “Roam Like Home” propositions, we’ve also been innovating in other ways.
We are developing the concept of subsidised roaming. Hotel and travel companies are interested in offering “free” roaming as a way of differentiating themselves from their competitors. A roaming bundle with a retail value of $10 might only cost $5 at the wholesale level, and that can be packaged as an attractive proposition within a holiday package. We are working with travel industry partners right now to deliver a win, win, win scenario for travellers, the travel industry, and operators.
Another customer-focused roaming proposition is Multiline. Based on a feature-rich app and a cloud hosted solution Multiline enables operators to offer business travellers the ability to remain in control of both their personal and professional lives by having separate work and personal numbers on the same device. Multiline helps operators generate incremental revenue from their business user base and reduces churn by locking in premium subscribers with a premium service.
Our long experience of the roaming market combined with and our understanding of operators’ businesses helps us to develop solutions like these within our four pillars of roaming. We’ll be discussing them at WAS9 in Kuala Lumpur this month. Come and see us if you will be at the meeting – or call us, we’re certainly not silent roamers!