When the novelty of doing business, contacting friends and family from abroad had worn off, there has always been a tense relationship between Subscriber and GSM Network Operator when it comes to the cost of international roaming.
First roaming was treated as a premium service (costs were high but so was value) and subscribers were prepared to pay GSM Operators irrespective of: foreign coverage being hard to define, services being offered at best endeavours and most importantly the transparency and unpredictability of roaming costs.
But it was roaming bill shock which really created issues between these two… actually it drove them apart. First Subscribers responded by changing Operator (MNP), then moving to Pre-Pay accounts where they could see more or less what they had spent even if there wasn’t the predictability of costs. Then the subscriber started to look for alternatives to the GSM Network Operator.
When Apple launched the iPhone 8 years ago and in included wi-fi, subscribers became somewhat confident that there was a good alternative. Bear in mind that many Subscribers didn’t have a choice about the Operator they could choose within their own home market (maybe this was because of coverage, roaming footprint, or convenience).
So with roaming regulations in force in EU Member states since 2007 and today now with steps to abolish roaming in EU (bearing in mind the surcharges and fair use policies) the subscriber is seeing maybe for the first time an opportunity to use GSM Roaming, not as a privilege but as a feasible means to stay productive with the mobility not found with wi-fi.
So how to proceed for Operators. Well the way we see it, is that they now have a second chance.
Roaming Version 2
If the subscriber is getting clear messages about spend, somewhat predictable pricing coming from unlimited usage for a set price (like they are familiar with from home broadband) this might really change everything…
What it means is that Operators can talk openly with Subscribers about roaming cost, about value added services, about bundling and quality. What the Subscriber really wants apart from a reasonable cost is a predictable cost. Once they have that, all kinds of upselling activities can happen. A new kind of relationship between GSM Operators and their roaming Subscribers.
At ROCCO we are working on a number of initiatives for Roaming Version 2: Roaming Sponsorship, Roaming Class of Service and Permanent Roaming in context of human as well as machine Roaming. contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat with us about these specific opportunities.