“We want to encourage our customers to use data services wherever they are when on international travels. There shouldn’t be any reason for Telenor subscribers not to use mobile data services also when they are abroad,’’ Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO of the Telenor Group, was quoted as saying in a statement of the group on Tuesday.
“The move from voice to data is on and we need to deliver affordable, simple and predictable data services to our customers when travelling. I am pleased to announce that Telenor Group is moving ahead and will take a leading position on this widely and long-debated topic.”
Aim to Increase Data Roaming Usage to 80% over two years
In many parts of the world, it is a common practice for customers travelling abroad to simply switch off data roaming as a result of high and varying data roaming retail rates, as well as unpredictable bills. Almost half of European Union citizens would never use mobile data abroad, according to European Commission figures. Some 90 per cent of them limit their use of basic services like e-mails, whereas more than 25 per cent prefer to switch off their smartphone when abroad.
These statistics are also visible in Telenor’s figures. Currently, a mere average 30 percent of Telenor’s European data usage customers is using data roaming when travelling abroad. Telenor Group aims to increase data roaming usage in its European markets to 80 per cent or more by the end of 2017.
Telenor’s retail roaming packages are based on three pillars:
- Affordability (affordable and predictable prices. No need to switch data roaming off)
- Cost control (no surprises. You know what you pay – with default price packages)
- Simplicity (capped and well-known prices per day and geographical zone, only differentiated over 3 zones in the world – and with fixed top-ups when needed).
Telenor Sweden is the first company within the Telenor Group to have launched a new data roaming package. In January, Telenor started offering Swedish consumers a SEK 29 (EUR 3.1) 100 MB data package per day covering all of Europe. This means that a Swedish customer travelling to Barcelona for one week will get 700 MB for approximately SEK 200, which compares with approximately 1300 SEK with the price cap of 0,20 Euro/MB as regulated by the EU. Telenor Norway is expected to be the next business unit to introduce new data roaming packages during the second quarter.
“It’s about time we really do an effort on making roaming attractive for our customers. Roaming is the essence of what mobile communications is all about, being mobile.
We also believe Telenor will benefit from this move – switching off data roaming is lost revenue. We will continue to be innovative, strive for attractive solutions and place our 186 million customers at the core of our decision making,’’ says Baksaas.
“When one of Telenor’s customers roams abroad, the customer uses the network of another operator, which in turn Telenor has to pay for through wholesale roaming rates. The industry therefore also needs to work on driving down wholesale rates and establish wholesale models that encourage increased roaming traffic,’’ concludes Baksaas.