Chat iconGet in touch

Data roaming: Staying clear of bill shock over the holiday season

By December 21, 2012 No Comments

With the holiday season in full swing, there are several million wireless subscribers who are planning to travel internationally. However, many of these roaming subscribers choose to turn off their mobile data or significantly reduce their data usage when visiting family or friends outside of their home network. A large part of this behavior can be attributed to a fear of bill shock, since many subscribers don’t feel comfortable with today’s metered tariffs for roaming and are not in control of the charges that they may incur within a different country. In fact, according to research firm Juniper, 75% of roamers worldwide do not use their mobile data when travelling abroad. The current roaming environment is a no-win situation. Subscribers lose because they need to significantly alter their mobile device and data usage behaviors, which for some, can be extremely disruptive to their wireless experience. On the other hand, operators are opening themselves up to potentially nasty bill shock incidents and missing a giant opportunity to simplify data roaming that can improve the subscriber experience as well as generate over billions in revenue. In order to turn this no-win situation into a more positive and profitable experience for both parties, we’ve found operators need to lead the charge and achieve these three goals: • Provide roamers with real-time visibility and control over data service usage and costs • Better engage with roamers to upsell roaming data packages • Make purchasing of roaming data packages very easy, anytime/anywhere The simplest, most effective strategy for operators to achieve these goals is to offer Data Roaming Service Passes (casual data access e.g. 30MB data for a day) that can be purchased via their devices and provide real-time usage visibility. These passes should be developed with the subscribers’ needs in mind and include the option for subscribers to obtain passes to the network for a limited period of time, determine the specific volume of data, enable access to specific applications or any combination of these needs. With personalized data passes that can be purchased on-device, subscribers win because they can determine how and when they interact with the network. For operators, they are able to easily tear down data roaming barriers and drastically improve subscriber experiences, resulting in increased customer satisfaction, stronger loyalty and better competitive positioning. For example, an operator in the Middle East was able to increase their data roaming revenues by 35% following the introduction of data roaming service passes. By providing this level of transparency and control to the subscriber, operators are able to gift a significant amount of flexibility and control to their subscriber base, while improving their revenue, leading to a happier holiday season for everyone.