4G roaming traffic booms as 5G gains ground

4G roaming traffic doubled in 2019 for the third consecutive year, as subscriber demand for high-capacity borderless connectivity continues to boom, according to BICS.

BICS findings show an uplift in roaming traffic across all continents, fuelled by increased global travel, adoption of roaming tariffs, travel SIMs, and IoT devices.

The company’s global network, which connects over 700 operators and 500 digital service providers and carries over 50% of global data roaming traffic

Also, 2019 saw momentum build for both national and international 5G — approximately 50 national 5G networks are now live, while BICS pioneered several live 5G roaming services, including a 5G intercontinental roaming service between Europe and Asia.

In 2020 BICS predicts 5G roaming will gain further traction, as service providers progress 5G deployments and launch 5G roaming to support increasing demand from both subscribers and industries requiring high-speed, ultra-low latency 5G data connectivity.

“The exponential growth in roaming traffic highlights how important international connectivity has become to the subscriber experience,” said Mikaël Schachne, CMO and VP Mobility & IoT Business at BICS.

“Through the provision of seamless, cross-border 5G connectivity, operators will be able to create new revenue streams and support a wide range of new and innovative use cases in areas such as automotive, gaming, telemedicine and logistics,” said Schachne. “As carriers launch 5G networks, roaming must be at the heart of their offerings to deliver maximum value for subscribers.”