Why would a boost in roaming revenue be good news?

If the people who released the news that data roaming revenues would bring in $50 billion by 2019 thought it would bring a smile to any faces they were wrong. At least not along BillingViews’ Boulevard.

Surely, the only people who will be pleased by the news will be those whose outlook for the next few years is like the generals in charge of the Roman army in its death throes. Instead of trying new things, they would build the walls higher and stronger. They would ignore the fact that the ‘barbarians at the gates’ (the Romans were good at PR – anyone they could not beat were ‘barbarians’) had weapons that could throw hot burny stuff over the walls.

Remember the ‘walled garden’ thinking? Several operators tried to offer content on their portal and only on their portal. And customers simply found a way of going over the top, or through a tiny gap and escaped into the great wide web.

Surely a more refreshing, popular, joyous press release would be one from the EU that reads something like this:


Artificial roaming rates abolished – telco revenues set to double

 Brussels – 24th January 2015 (embargoed until 10.00 a.m for no apparent reason). Following lobbying by several sectors of the industry, the EU finally passed the law (COM.207/34 subsection 2.13) abolishing premium data roaming rates with immediate effect across the entire European trading area. The move followed extensive research by the EU itself that showed 50 percent of customers who travel turn data off while travelling and 75 percent limit usage.

At the forefront of the lobbying group, CEO of TripMate, Brad Tripp expressed his delight at the decision. “We have been lobbying for years, trying to explain the simple fact that customers want to use their data wherever they are, particularly when they are lost in Barcelona late at night after a lovely evening which they discovered using TripMate’s new travel app. Finally, the telecoms companies and the EU have seen the light and we are delighted with the results. We look forward to a new, enlightened and profitable environment and see a win-win for everyone.”

Customer champion and editor of customer experience magazine ‘Let’s Shop!’, Alison Greenall, said “customers will be delighted with the news that they can go abroad and continue spending their money playing ‘War 3, the Final Curtain’, with friends they don’t know the other side of the world. Up to now, holidays have not been any fun at all for them.”

Telecoms operators were unavailable for comment, although a person close to the CFO of one large European telco said that they were still trying to talk him out of the cupboard in which he had locked himself after lunch. Apparently he was still mumbling something about investment being stifled when they turned the lights out and went home.

Sadly, all characters in the release are fictional. No feelings were hurt during the making of this press release.

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About Alex Leslie 400 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet.

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