Roaming Tariff Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Roaming Type

(National, International), By Distribution Channel (Retail, Wholesale), By Service (Voice, Data, SMS), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 – 2028

Report Overview

The global roaming tariff market size was valued at USD 70.76 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% from 2021 to 2028. The rising number of mobile phone subscribers, international tourism, and government regulations are the significant factors expected to influence market growth. The advent and adoption of 5G are anticipated to be the primary growth driver in the coming years. In addition, network service providers are rolling out special roaming packages that provide cost-effective solutions to their users. Such solutions are expected to benefit the service providers as well as the subscribers, thereby resulting in market growth. The spread of COVID-19 in 2020 adversely affected the market, mainly due to international travel restrictions.

Asia Pacific roaming tariff market size, by roaming type, 2017 - 2028 (USD Million)

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These international travel restrictions and lockdown imposed across several countries resulted in a shortfall in international roaming revenue in 2020. This trend is anticipated to continue in 2021 with the virus making a resurgence with a new variant, and prospects of a lockdown back on cards in several nations. Although towards the end of 2020, the situation began to improve, a new variant of coronavirus strain set the fear in with global travel restrictions once again looming over the industry.

Another major challenge the industry faced came from a drop in business travel. Amidst the pandemic, business travel took a massive hit due to the newly minted work-from-home model and proliferation of virtual conferences/events. Similarly, several major international events, such as the 2020 Summer Olympics, Euro 2020, Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, and Geneva International Motor Show, were either postponed or canceled, further impacting the market growth.

The market is expected to witness new growth opportunities in the coming years as the events postponed in previous years are conducted along with other scheduled events. In addition, the international tourism industry is also expected to experience a spike triggered by a large number of international travelers that couldn’t travel due to the pandemic. International tourism is one of the leading drivers of socioeconomic progress. According to the International Trade Center (ITC), international tourism accounts for almost 30% of the global trade services. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a United Nations agency, is known for promoting sustainable and universally accessible tourism and driving economic growth. Thus, the market is expected to experience significant growth, aided by the tourism industry, once the traveling restrictions are lifted and the majority of the global population is vaccinated.

Several countries had to postpone the roll-out of 5G technology, which was scheduled for 2020. Several European countries including Spain, U.K., Austria, and Portugal, among others had announced delayed roll-outs of 5G due to the pandemic. 5G is a high potential, high-speed network that is also cost-effective, and, therefore, expected to be used widely. Furthermore, 5G ensures high frequencies, better coverage, and enhanced network capacity. Owing to the aforementioned benefits, the roll-out of 5G is anticipated to have a huge impact on the market over the forecast period.

Roaming Type Insights

The international roaming segment held the largest market share of over 77% in 2020 and is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period. Although the overall revenue was low in 2020, international roaming dominated the market because of high-priced packages and increased demand from people stuck in foreign countries. The segment’s high growth rate is ascribed to the flourishing international tourism industry, which is expected to record healthy growth post-pandemic. In addition, several network service providers are introducing negligible or completely null charges on national roaming, thereby proving international roaming to be the primary source of revenue over the long run.

Countries that have a high dependency on the tourism industry have a higher percentage of revenue generated from international roaming. Studies suggest, in several Middle Eastern countries, more than 10% of the calls are roaming calls, owing to the presence of customers who belong to other countries and are in the region for work, business, or tourism. Such countries invest heavily in the development of infrastructure that supports high network capacity and seamless services to international tourists. Such developments are expected to drive the segment growth in the next seven years.

Report Coverage & Deliverables

PDF report & online dashboard will help you understand:
  • Competitive benchmarking
  • Historical data & forecasts
  • Company revenue shares
  • Regional opportunities
  • Latest trends & dynamics

Distribution Channel Insights

The wholesale roaming segment held the largest revenue share of more than 73% in 2020 and is projected to expand further at the fastest growth rate from 2021 to 2028. Wholesale roaming prices are the charges that operators charge each other when their customer travels abroad and uses their network services. The number of inbound tourists visiting any country is the primary factor influencing the segment. Thus, increasing tourism is expected to favor the segment growth over the forecast period.

The retail roaming segment is also estimated to have significant growth over the coming years. Retail roaming services are when several Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) offer their roaming services directly to individual customers. The growing number of smartphone users is expected to drive the segment growth over the forecast period. According to GSMA, smartphone adoption across the globe is anticipated to reach almost 80% by 2025, a growth of 20% from 2017

Service Insights

The data segment accounted for the largest revenue share of over 67% in 2020. The increasing popularity of the Over-The-top (OTT) platform mobile applications is expected to upkeep the segment growth over the forecast period. OTT platforms offer entertainment options at any place and any time. Owing to the ease of availability, people increasingly prefer OTT platforms over cinema halls, thus, increasing the demand for high-speed data bandwidths even in remote locations. Thus, mobile network providers are focusing on providing roaming plans that offer high-speed data at affordable rates to attract more customers.

Global roaming tariff market share, by service, 2020 (%)

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Even with the emergence of several video calling applications that use mobile data, voice calling remains the preferred option for most users. Voice calling reduces the time & effort required in texting and provides better connectivity even if there is not enough network for a video call. Owing to their benefits over other connectivity options, voice calling is expected to remain the preferred choice over the long run. Therefore, the segment is projected to grow steadily with a CAGR of approximately 3% from 2021 to 2028

Regional Insights

Europe held the largest market share of more than 42% in 2020. The region is characterized by the presence of several countries that attract tourists from across the globe. According to the travel and tourism statistics published by the World Economic Forum, Spain, France, and Germany ranked top in tourism in 2019. Spain attracted the most tourists in 2019, and the country’s tourism industry accounted for 5% of the total GDP. The trend is expected to continue over the coming years, thus, helping the region maintain its dominance over the forecast period.

The Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing regional market from 2021 to 2028. According to statistics, Asia Pacific was the second to Europe in terms of tourist arrival in 2018, accounting for more than 350 million tourists. Moreover, the region is also home to the production & manufacturing plants of several conglomerates headquartered in the west. As a result, business purpose travels are more frequent in the region. Owing to the continuous inbound tourists and the large population of the region, Asia Pacific is expected to be a significant revenue source for the global market in the future.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market is characterized by the presence of few companies that dominate in a particular region. Several companies have a strong foothold in a particular country or region and enjoy the majority of the market share in that specific geography. To continue their dominance in the region, such companies adopt strategies that help them stay ahead in the competition. For instance, In February 2020, T-Mobile, one of the major network service providers in the U.S., merged with Sprint Corporation, another service provider in the U.S., to focus on innovation and expand its service in 5G and mobile wireless sectors.

Reduced prices of roaming tariffs have resulted in increased price competition among key operating players. To provide an improved customer experience, companies are offering digital solutions that provide bundled solutions to their customers. For instance, in October 2020, Telefonica S.A. expanded its business unit with the launch of Telefonica Global Solutions. The new business unit aims to integrate its roaming, wholesale, and multinational subscribers into a single brand, thereby improving customer experience. The business units also provide various solutions and services that include roaming trading services, clearing services, and other roaming solutions. Some of the prominent players in the global roaming tariff market are:

  • AT&T Inc.

  • Bharti Airtel Ltd.

  • China Mobile Ltd.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG

  • T-Mobile

  • Telefonica SA

  • Vodafone Group plc

  • Verizon Communications Inc.

Roaming Tariff Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 71.32 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 100.93 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 5.1% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2017 – 2019

Forecast period

2021 – 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Roaming type, distribution channel, service, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; MEA

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; U.K.; Germany; France; Rest of Europe; China; India; Japan; Rest of APAC; Brazil; Mexico; Rest of LATAM

Key companies profiled

AT&T, Inc.; Bharti Airtel Ltd.; China Mobile Ltd.; Deutsche Telekom AG; T-Mobile; Telefonica SA; Vodafone Group plc; Verizon Communications, Inc.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent to up to 8 analysts’ working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options.

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global roaming tariff market report based on roaming type, distribution channel, service, and region:

  • Roaming  Type  Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 – 2028)

    • National

    • International

  • Distribution Channel Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 – 2028)

    • Retail Roaming

    • Wholesale Roaming

  • Service Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 – 2028)

    • Voice

    • SMS

    • Data

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 – 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • U.K.

      • France

      • Germany

      • Rest of Europe

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • Rest of APAC

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

      • Rest of LATAM

    • Middle East & Africa


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