Mobile Devices

5G roaming subscribers to reach 210 million by 2026

27 July 2021

The market for 5G roaming is expected to grow significantly in the next 5 years reaching 210 million up from 4.5 million in 2021, according to new data from Juniper Research.

Part of the reason for this growth is the recovery of the international travel industry from COVID-19 and building support for 5G as travelers begin to visit other countries once again, but want the same level of connectivity as they have when they are at home.

Services such as roaming analytics, sponsored roaming and steering of roaming will support the management of an increasing number of 5G roaming connections. The rise in demand for 5G roaming data will help operators to maximize 5G roaming monetization.

Juniper predicts vendor competition will also intensify as 5G roaming grows and subscribers expect comparable levels of bandwidth and latency when roaming over 5G to home network connectivity. This will require roaming vendors to accommodate this demand via value-added services.

Data traffic from roaming 5G subscribers is expected to reach 770 PB by 2026 up from 2.6 PB in 2021. This will represent enough data to stream 115 million hours of 4K video from streaming platforms.

Additionally, this rise in data will promote the need for agreements that explicitly cover 5G roaming data and provide roaming subscribers with comparable experiences.

“As demand for international travel returns, operators must adjust to the significant uptake of 5G subscriptions during the pandemic,” said Scarlett Woodford, researcher at Juniper. “A failure to provide 5G roaming capabilities in key travel destinations will diminish brand reputation amongst subscribers and lead to churn to competitors.”

The full research can be found in Juniper’s 5G Roaming Strategies: Future Outlook, Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2021-2026 report.

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