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    Roaming subscribers to reach 1.25 billion globally in 2024, surpassing pre-pandemic levels

    A new study finds that the number of active retail roaming subscribers will reach 1.25 billion globally by the end of 2024, and will rise to 1.6 billion by 2028.

    The report, from Juniper Research, identified the increasing number of roaming subscribers using 5G networks as a key challenge for operators to fully monetise roaming activities.

    $18bn roaming spend

    5G subscribers will account for only 10% of global roamers in 2024. However, this is anticipated to exceed 45% by 2028. In turn, the study recommends that operators accelerate their investment into cloud services that enable more efficient real-time detection of roaming subscriptions over 5G networks. This will empower operators to fully monetise the $18 billion global subscriber roaming spend by 2028.

    An extract from the new report, Global Retail Roaming Market 2024-2028, is now available as a free download.

    Cloud key to roaming evolution

    Operators continue to struggle to monetise roaming services; owing to an inability to effectively identify roaming connections and activities over other networks. By connecting subscribers to global cloud infrastructure rather than through these networks and bilateral roaming agreements, operators will be able to offer higher roaming speeds and lower latency.

    Additionally, the study predicts that the implementation of cloud roaming services will disrupt established roaming practices by enabling subscribers to access data services when travelling abroad via cloud applications; negating the need to access visited networks and thus roam. To maximise the benefits of cloud services over roaming, operators must ensure that they offer roaming subscribers an interaction platform that lets them view their own roaming activities, such as location, cost and data used.

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