Global roaming is on the rise, as growing proliferation of mobile phone devices and expanding affluence drive business and recreational travel across the globe. Industry association GSMA estimates there are now almost 5.5 billion unique mobile subscribers worldwide, with over 11 billion licensed cellular connections.
At the same time, global travel has skyrocketed. The number of international visits has more than doubled since 2000, and while the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily dampened global roaming, the trajectory forward is one of certain upward growth.
This globally connected customer base is increasingly international, as users travel and cross borders with their trusty phone by their side. The estimated market value of international IoT roaming is expected to more than quadruple from USD13 million in 2022 to USD63 million by 2027.
The global amount of data generated by roaming IoT connections is projected to rise from 86 petabytes in 2022 to more than 1,100 petabytes in 2027 according to a study by Juniper Research, showing the remarkable direction of travel for the global roaming industry.
Responding to roaming in a changing landscape
The advent of 5G will create new dynamics for communication service providers (CSPs), with Ericsson predicting that there will be more than 5 billion 5G subscriptions by 2028, accounting for more than half (55%) of total mobile subscriptions. This will create a changing dynamic for roaming that will further increase pressure on CSPs.
Mobile roaming in a 5G era will require new roaming network architecture and security, as well as robust support solutions to ensure seamless connectivity for customers around the world. Customers are increasingly looking for smooth transfer of services between providers during international travel, beyond the use of traveling sim cards or an international sim card that requires manual changes.
Customers want to experience seamless connectivity across borders, without significantly inflated texting, calling, or data costs. They expect coverage that mirrors that of their at-home network experience, with voice calling, SMS, and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services easily signposted and accessed.
CSPs must address this evolving customer need with a commitment to solutions that overcome these challenges.
Signaling solutions to global roaming needs
Neural Technologies offers a range of solutions designed to support CSPs looking to enhance or expand their roaming services and capabilities for customers. These are underpinned by an effective signaling solution that can ensure rapid deployment, with no specialized hardware, and with a low system footprint.
Location base technologies are a critical component of the user journey in transferring between networks during international travel. Neural Technologies’s solutions offer location-based and welcome messaging services, advising customers of the transition between networks and ensuring smooth communication between CSPs and users. Neural Technologies’ solutions provide accurate and reliable location-based services from 2G to 5G to provide information and maintain security for customers, including location tracking, location query, geo-fencing, roaming fraud detection, and those all-important welcome messages.
Welcome messages are vital to enable ongoing customer service and support during global roaming. Welcome messages can help boost customer loyalty and help generate revenue from roaming revenue opportunities, promoting helpful roaming bundles or tariffs to customers as they travel seamlessly across markets and networks.
GlocalSIM is a one-card multiple number solution that can help enable an international sim card for users, providing a hassle-free transition to a local number when traveling between countries around the world. It delivers a cost-effective solution for enterprises and individual subscribers. GlocalSIM removes the hassle for consumers by avoiding the need to carry an additional phone when traveling, and reduces the need for multiple sims. It offers a dedicated inbox for different numbers, and provides consumers with the ability to have separate numbers for business, personal, voice calls, data services, and roaming all on the same device.
USSD gateway capabilities enabled through Neural Technologies’ signaling solution can also be offered to subscribers even while roaming, and operate independent of any data connection. It works on any mobile network or phone, and provides highly interactive, real-time interaction that is highly customizable to meet the needs of the CSP.
Global roaming is on the rise, and consumer expectations will continue to demand more seamless, affordable services to meet this need. The 5G transformation will add further complexity to this service provision, as CSPs wrestle with complex and costly investment needs to ensure secure, seamless connectivity across the world.
Neural Technologies’ signaling solutions provide a powerful platform to help enable this transformation, ensuring CSPs can provide best-in-class global roaming solutions that enhance customer service, boost customer retention, and make for a more seamless international roaming environment.