On June 15, Britons holidaying in Europe will cease to pay roaming costs when they use their mobile phone thanks to new EU legislation ‘Roam like Home’. Under the new rules, EU citizens can take their mobile plan on holiday, putting an end to expensive bills. But recent research, by Graystone Strategy, shows that 67% of British Mobile phone users are unaware of the new legislation and the impact it will have on their mobile phone bills.
Our research shows that 61% of people are worried about using their phone on holiday for fear of getting a hefty bill when they get home, and a fifth of people never use their phone abroad to avoid bill shock completely. However, once participants in the study were told about the new law, 63% said they would use their phone more, with half (49%) saying they would use more internet services. A further 43% added they would now use streaming services like Netflix and Spotify for at least 30 minutes a day.
Roam like home will have a significant impact on the UK mobile industry. It is undeniably a great deal for consumers, however the impact on operator revenues is significant, estimated by Juniper Research to be £1.3bn in 2017.
MVNOs in particular are disproportionately impacted by the changes as they are unable to sign bilateral roaming agreements and in most cases will pay the regulated wholesale rates for minutes, texts and data.
At the MVNO Congress in Nice in April, it is was very evident that MVNOs are extremely concerned about the risks of significant uplifts in consumers use of data products when abroad. So concerned, that some have negotiated special derogation from the EU to cap the daily roaming use. Find out more in our blog “The Shifting Sands of Roam Like Home.”
These concerns are justified.
What our research shows, is that different customer segments are reacting to the new legislation in different ways.
Technology Trailblazers, a market segment who are highly engaged with their mobiles expect to increase their use of data services. A third of them expect to be streaming for up to 7 hours a week when on holiday, that could be as much as 10GB in just one week.
However, the Settled Senior segment who are older more traditional mobile phone users, don’t expect the change in legislation to make a huge difference to them. Only 25% thought that they would increase their mobile phone use and any increase would only be “a little bit”.
The challenge for all operators now is to understand the different customer types that they have, this in turn will allow them to understand the likely increase in customer use.
Armed with this information operators can effectively build propositions that address the needs of their customers and if necessary mitigate some of the cost risks associated with “Roam like Home.”
At Graystone Strategy we have made this simpler for smaller operators and MVNOs by developing our Mobile Market Segmentation.
The segmentation model allows us to rapidly segment an operator’s base of customers into the 6 different segments. Then using the recent research we can overlay the expected impact of Roam like Home.
So if you want to get ahead of the potential risks of roam like home or more importantly take some of the opportunities that it presents, then please get in touch. Just drop me a message through our website www.graystonestrategy.com or e-mail me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org