68% of global travellers still SWITCH roaming off

Starhome Mach is the global leader in mobile roaming services (or, to use the proper definition, inter-carrier network and clearing services).

A huge number of operators use them to manage their roaming services. Therefore, via their Unity real-time analytics system, they are well positioned to offer aggregate anonymised data on how hundreds of millions of actual people use their mobiles abroad.

The sad reality is that you and I need a bit of a reset. We reckon that the issue of ‘roaming’ is sorted, more or less, right? It’s not crazy, generally. Especially in Europe. It’s certainly manageable for the average customer now.

And anyone featured in the media today with one of those “I ran up a £500 bill abroad” sob stories has only themselves to blame. The operators have come a long way in terms of educating customers and making things a lot more bearable especially for the occasional roamer.

Unfortunately, globally, most folk don’t bother roaming.

They STILL switch their phones off.

Here are the headlines from Starhome Mach’s latest announcement:

  • 68% of global roamers are still silent [i.e. don’t roam when abroad]
  • 58% of EU roamers are still silent, despite regulations designed to lower
  • The number of roamers using data increased 10% over the past 12 months, while the number of roamers using voice decreased
  • Only 56% use voice when roaming

Fascinating, eh?

It’s not all bad news. Roaming usage is increasing slowly.

What do you do about the ‘silent’ roamers? Well, there’s a solution. You can actually ‘awaken’ them (I love the term). Here’s the overview from Starhome Mach:

Operators who use Starhome Mach’s real-time Silent Roamers solution are able to identify and awaken their roamers thanks to its unique integration between clearing and network services. They target roamers with micro-segmented campaigns based on profiles and usage patterns and then track results and the impact on their business. Dynamic pricing support on both the retail and wholesale levels provides maximum flexibility without impacting the operator’s billing system. Operators are also using this technology to detect silent locations to pinpoint potential quality of service issues.

I’d like to see more operators implement this kind of thing — alongside a competitively priced offering to match, of course!


By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

One reply on “68% of global travellers still SWITCH roaming off”

I agree that people who run up big bills have only themselves to blame. When friends go off on holiday and say they may not use their phone at all. I ask “how much are your roaming charges?’ It gets me mad when they say ‘I don’t know’. People still don’t go to their operators site and find out this simply basic information. And people think they get charged for incoming texts too. Well I’ll laugh when one receives a bill shocker. Rant over!

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