Roaming Analytics is more important now than ever for Mobile Operators

May 5, 2020

With nearly every country in the world locked down due to COVID-19 and their borders essentially closed, the roaming volumes have dropped significantly. Yet even with the effects of the pandemic, roaming is expected to generate approximately $1 trillion dollars globally in 2020, according to Statistica. Not an insignificant amount of revenue.

Mobile operators are faced with the challenges of analyzing usage trends, evaluating impacts on volume commitments, negotiating favorable wholesale roaming agreements, etc., but now in a new and more turbulent environment. Roaming teams must forecast, re-forecast, and re-forecast their wholesale and retail roaming revenues for the remainder of the year and next year. They have to revise assumptions on continually changing information:

  • When will international travel return? How soon will the travel resume?
  • When will the business travel re-start? Will consumers resume holiday travel this summer?
  • Which countries will open their borders to travel first, next month, next quarter?

The answer to these questions today may be dramatically impacted by changes in COVID-19 restrictions tomorrow. Some countries are still on the front side of the curve, while others are already beginning to declare victory over the virus and evaluating when to ease government-imposed travel bans. Though the primary impact of roaming has been travel bans, as the travel restrictions become relaxed, there may be reduced appetite for people to travel. Diminished travel demand could become the next primary cause of lost roaming revenues.

For the roaming teams, revising forecasts on a monthly, weekly and sometimes daily basis has become the new routine. Executives want and need to understand the impact of changing roaming volumes on the forecasted revenues for the remainder of the year…and next year.

It is more important now than ever for Mobile Operators to utilize a strong roaming analytics tool to optimize their roaming business. Being able to create new forecasts in minutes, change scenarios on the fly, compare multiple forecasts, are all very important. Analytics platforms provide operators with “answers that are based on data and not on subjectivity or opinions.” Yaana customers are telling us that they are using their analytics module of our roaming management solution more than ever, and indeed, the executives are asking for constant changes to forecasts and the impact it will have on the company’s financials.

Nuuday’s Head of Roaming, Søren Svendsen, this week said of the importance of analytics, “For us, it has been extremely important to simulate the full impact of in- and outbound roaming, in order to assess the financial impact of the COVID-19 situation, both in terms of the overall financial impact, but also for individual revenue commitments, where adjustments may be necessary. With Neustring™ Analytics and the support of the Yaana team, we have been able to quickly react to changes in trends and create multiple new simulations of the COVID-19 impact, in order to create visibility of the impact and allow for informed decisions.”

Mobile operators may not be able to predict how long this will last and what direction this will change and when, but what they can do is to be prepared with actionable data and the tools for changing demands in roaming.

The Yaana support and managed services teams are working with many of our customers on a daily basis, assisting in the changing of these forecasts. We have become an extension of our customers’ roaming departments. We invite all our customers to reach out to us if we can be of assistance.

We will get through this together. Although we may not know exactly when businesses and consumers will begin traveling again soon. Roaming will return to the mobile industry.

Stay safe!