28 June 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
LTE roaming in the Asia-Pacific region is booming, according to the latest figures from BICS.
The region saw a three-fold increase in LTE roaming traffic
in 2017, well above the global average, which showed a doubling
of LTE roaming traffic.
And at the beginning of 2018 Europe overtook the Middle East to
become the top destination for outgoing roamers from
Asia-Pacific using LTE services, says BICS, accounting for
around 54% of outbound LTE roaming traffic.
BICS’s managing director for Asia-Pacific, Malcolm
Chan, said: "Subscribers now expect high quality, affordable
roaming services, whether they’re travelling
inside or outside of Europe. With Europe accounting for such a
significant portion of Asia’s roaming traffic,
overtaking the Middle East, it’s clear that the
impact of the legislation is being felt on a global
European LTE roaming itself is growing even faster, say the
figures from the Brussels-based company. In January, BICS
reported that global LTE roaming traffic more than doubled in
2017, with Europe experiencing a 600-800% increase in traffic
during the summer months. The surge in LTE roaming traffic in
Europe was driven in part by the EU’s regulation
on wholesale roaming charges which came into effect in June
"The Roam Like At Home ruling in Europe led to greater
awareness of the benefits international roaming brings," said
Chan. As a result, tourists and business travellers visiting
Asia from Europe accounted for the highest number of inbound
China, with 1 billion 4G connections and accounting for 40.2%
of all global LTE connections, spearheads Asian growth, said
BICS, but other markets such as Australia, South Korea, Japan,
Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and India are
also seeing accelerating migration to 4G.
The GSMA, which this week was holding its Asian version of
Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, estimates that mobile data
growth will be the driving force behind future revenues and
operator investment in the region.
"Contrary to established belief, Asian consumers no longer want
to switch off their phones or buy local SIM cards when
travelling overseas," said Chan.
"We anticipate further growth as the number of connected
devices surges throughout the region. BICS will continue to
reinforce its backbone of connectivity by cementing and
expanding our global footprint and supporting operators as they
identify new and innovative ways to monetise services and
improve their customer offering."
roam like at home,
Mobile World Congress