Press Release
VoLTE Roaming Takes Centre Stage as Foremost Priority for 96% of Global MNOs

THE IMPENDING SHUT DOWN OF 2G/3G NETWORKS VOTED AS THE NUMBER 1 FACTOR IMPACTING VoLTE ROAMING OPERATIONAL PRIORITIES

LONDON, August 30th 2023: New findings from roaming experts Kaleido Intelligence highlight a substantial rise in the significance of VoLTE roaming for global mobile operators. A noteworthy 81% have elevated its priority compared to previous years, while 15% consider transitioning to VoLTE roaming a vital operational focus in 2023. These survey results reflect a favorable industry trend, as mobile operators progressively acknowledge and prioritise VoLTE roaming in their operational strategies.

According to the survey, this intensified focus can be linked to the closure of legacy networks in major markets, and the drive to provide subscribers with consistent roaming experiences. Additionally, by the end of 2024, all participating operators anticipate having VoLTE roaming agreements in place, indicating a higher level of commitment.

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Investments in VoLTE & IMS Core Increase, VoLTE Roaming Agreements Mostly Limited to Less than 10

Investment in VoLTE and IMS services has considerably increased, with 239 global VoLTE networks currently in operation as of July 2023. This figure is up almost 30% from 2019 and highlights the continued VoLTE market growth. The survey revealed that the largest percentage of respondents had between 1 and 10 outbound, inbound and bilateral VoLTE roaming agreements. This outlines one of the primary challenges with VoLTE roaming; agreements are limited to a small number and do not offer a comprehensive global coverage or, indeed, cover all key travel corridors.

Kaleido VoLTE Roaming MNO Survey Q1 2023: Key Findings

Other key findings from Kaleido Intelligence’s operator survey* conducted in Q1 2023 included:

  • 73% of respondents agree or strongly agree that the global sunsetting of 2G/3G networks is driving their VoLTE roaming strategies and rollouts.
  • 41% of operator respondents are opting to or will introduce amendments to their existing roaming agreements to incorporate VoLTE roaming.
  • Over 50% of respondents indicated that they expect to have between 10 and 50 direct VoLTE roaming agreements in three years.
  • Majority of operator respondents reported defining and validating the various scenarios for VoLTE roaming testing as the number 1 challenge.

Dawnn Dinsey, Research Analyst at Kaleido Intelligence said: The future for VoLTE roaming appears promising, with substantial growth anticipated in the upcoming years. Its role in 5G standalone roaming is vital, and operators should persist in making significant investments to enhance their 5G capabilities alongside VoLTE roaming. This approach will help optimise wholesale roaming revenues.

Access Kaleido’s VoLTE Roaming 2023: Market Outlook & MNO Roadmap report for in-depth insights into wholesale roaming, future roaming revenue catalyst, investment strategies and technical necessities alongside billing complexities.

VoLTE Roaming Connections to Exceed 6 Billion

According to Kaleido’s latest Roaming Data Hub 2023, global VoLTE-enabled connections reached 4.2 billion in 2022, with VoLTE roaming penetration remaining less than 20%. By the end of 2028, Kaleido predicts that around 75% of VoLTE connections will be roaming-capable by 2028, accounting for over 6.4 billion connections, as operators drive VoLTE roaming agreements and as 5G SA rollouts accelerate around the world.

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About Kaleido Intelligence

Kaleido Intelligence is a specialist consulting and market research firm with a proven track record delivering telecom research at the highest level. Kaleido Intelligence is the only research company addressing mobile roaming in its entirety, covering:

  • Data Forecasts by Market
  • Historical & Forecast Viewpoints
  • Competitive Intelligence
  • Strategic Insight
  • Trend Analysis

Research is led by expert analysts, each with significant experience delivering telco research and insights that matter.

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