BICS

BICS boosts 5G data roaming with Three Austria and Sunrise

16 March 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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BICS has launched 5G data roaming services between the Austrian operator, Three Austria, and Swiss telecommunications company, Sunrise UPC, leveraging its 5G global IPX network.

BICS said the development is a "major advancement" in the roll-out of global 5G roaming within Europe, adding that download speeds will be "multiples times faster" than those of previous 4G roaming.

Frederic Salmon, CCO of BICS said: “By enhancing 5G inter-operator connectivity, BICS is fully supporting mobile operators in their post-Covid growth strategies through new technology rollouts.

"5G deployment is ready for a return to growth. 5G roll-outs are advancing at a faster rate than seen with previous mobile connectivity generations. Leveraging our unrivalled global IPX network reach, BICS can help operators harness the power of new 5G use cases across the consumer and enterprise markets, by providing borderless, next-generation connectivity for data-hungry subscribers, companies and devices.”

BICS was the first to launch 5G intercontinental roaming and enabled Europe’s first 5G roaming service in 2019. Reinforcing its leadership position, at MWC Shanghai this year BICS announced the addition of borderless 5G capabilities to its SIM for Things.

Simone Keglovics, senior head of wholesale, Three Austria said: “For us as an Austrian operator in the heart of Europe, excellent roaming services are an important part of our portfolio. Therefore, we are proud of our rapid rollout of 5G high speed data roaming solutions.”

Elmar Grasser, CTO of Sunrise UPC, added: “The multiple benefits of 5G are more and more important for customers also across the borders. Thanks to BICS roaming services, the Sunrise roaming customers now benefit from an outstanding 5G mobile network in Austria and Austrian customers use the fastest and most reliable 5G network in Switzerland. Thanks to BICS we are offering our customers an increased borderless 5G experience.”

Back in March 2020, Juniper Research warned the mobile phone industry was facing lost revenues to the tune of US$25 billion bill to the end of the year, due to Covid travel bans and their impact on roaming revenues.

Juniper Research's latest insight expects roaming revenues will take three years to recover from their Covid-induced collapse. Covid-related travel restrictions pushed roaming subscriptions down by 73% in 2020 to 243 million subscribers globally, after recording a high of 894 million in 2019.

Despite these challenges, in 2019 BICS recorded its third consecutive year of 100% growth for 4G roaming traffic.