Some key findings from the international roaming survey …

Barbados

Light the Fuse recently conducted a survey which aimed to explore respondents usage of their mobile device while travelling abroad, attitudes towards the associated cost and methods used (if any) to avoid exorbitant roaming charges. Summarised below are some of the key insights from this survey.

Headlines:

  • 92% of respondents change the way they use their mobile device to access the internet, when they are travelling abroad.
  • When travelling abroad 89% of respondents change the way they use their mobile device for voice calls. 

Internet Access While Roaming:

While two thirds of respondents indicated that they were either Extremely or Very Likely to access the internet from their mobile device while abroad, there are significant levels of concern over the cost of doing so. 

  • Overall 67% of respondents were either Extremely or Very Concerned about the cost of accessing the internet on their mobile device, while travelling abroad.
  • This figure rises to 80% being Extremely of Very Concerned, when considering only European respondents.

Voice Calls While Roaming:

Concerns over the cost of voice calls were slightly lower overall (when compared to concerns expressed over the cost of accessing the internet) and were significantly lower for European respondents. This is probably due regulatory pressure driving down the cost of voice calls while roaming within the EU: 

  • European Respondents: 
    • 50% being Extremely or Very concerned by the cost of outgoing calls.
    • 33% being Extremely or Very concerned by the cost of incoming calls.
  • North American Respondents:
    • 62% being Extremely or Very concerned by the cost of outgoing calls.
    • 58% being Extremely or Very concerned by the cost of incoming calls.

Change In Mobile Behaviour:

In response to these concerns over cost, the vast majority of respondents change their mobile behaviour when travelling abroad and use a range of measures intended to manage roaming costs. 

  • 45% of respondents indicated they wait to access the internet until they could connect to public, hotel or corporate WiFi. 
  • 35% indicated they minimise both the quantity and duration of outgoing calls.
  • 29% of respondents said they use Skype (or other VoIP service) as much as possible. 
  • 22% of respondents switch data roaming off in the menu of the device for the entire duration of their trip.

    Only 11% of respondents indicated they do not change the way they used their device for voice calls, while 8% said they do not change the way they used their device for internet access.

    • However of the respondents who do not change their behaviour, two thirds receive a contribution from their employer, for all or part of their mobile bill.

    Opportunities For Roaming Service Provision:

    Interestingly the survey seems to indicate a significant growth opportunities for low cost roaming service providers, as only:

    • 8% of respondents indicated they use a low cost international roaming service for internet access.
    • 6% of respondents indicated they use a low cost international roaming service for voice calls.

     

    For further information on Light the Fuse please visit our website.

     

    Notes:

    Light the Fuse's International Mobile Usage Survey was conducted between 17th January 2013 and 4th March 2013.

    Total number of responses: 1,043
    Qualified responses: 452
    Qualified respondents resident in North America (USA or Canada): 292 
    Qualified respondents resident in Europe: 160
    Survey qualifying criteria:

    • Respondent owns a mobile/cellular device
    • Respondent travelled abroad at least once in the preceding 12 months (e.g., 52% of the total USA based respondents had not travelled outside the USA in the preceding 12 months)
    • Respondent completed all questions in the survey