Roaming Bill Shock continues to create challenges for Mobile Operators

October 27, 2016

27th October, 2016 - Helsinki, London. ROCCO & UROS - Unified Roaming Provider today announce the results of the 2nd annual Roaming Bill Shock Survey with Mobile Network Operators globally.

Following a request by UROS, between September and October 2016 ROCCO asked GSM Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) globally to give their perceptions of Roaming Bill Shock, how they thought roaming bill shock occurred and what prevention solutions they were using in resolving these occurrences. ROCCO gathered feedback from leading MNO strategists to try and measure the effect of the issue on Mobile Roaming.

57 MNO respondents provided confidential data from the perspective of 6 MNO Groups and several of the largest operators in the world, making 131 Operators in 94 Countries the sample for this research. In total the Operator base represented a subscriber base of 2.7 Billion.

The MNOs explained what prevention methods they had implemented and how successful they were in winning back customers. The survey was about understanding the impact of Bill Shock but also realising its effect on subscriber behaviours e.g. Silent Roamers (subscribers who switch off their data service when travelling). This unique joint venture between ROCCO and UROS brought together a comprehensive research focusing on the main areas of roaming bill shock, how much Operators were challenged by this and what methodology they were using to prevent further occurrences.

“As initiator of this unique global industry survey I am thankful that so many Operators participated”, says Gerrit Jan Konijnenberg CEO of UROS. About the results Konijnenberg adds: “This years results indicate that that the amount of Silent Roamers is still growing. Unfortunately this trend represents Billions of USD of lost potential revenues for the Telecoms Industry. With our IoT connected devices we support many Operators in their endeavours to launch low cost data roaming bundles, an issue many Operators admit to struggle with. Ideally this will reverse the trend!.”

While some MNOs report as much as 90% of their Roaming subscribers are Silent Roamers, the percentage of Silent Roamers has increased from an average of 58% in 2015 to 61% in 2016 suggesting a growth in the number of roamers watching their accounts for Roaming.

“While the EU is only 28% of the sample of MNOs, it was interesting to see that despite Roaming regulation reaching the lowest price cap level so far, there is still a major issue with Silent Roaming”. Says Jason Bryan CEO of ROCCO. “It will be interesting to watch what happens in June 2017 with the abolition of Roaming. Clearly more effort is needed by Industry bodies, Operators, Device manufacturers and Subscribers about understanding the issues.”

Details about the research and research methodology can be obtained from ROCCO by contacting ROCCO at while the report itself is available to download from UROS.


ROCCO is the Roaming Consulting Company. Providing for the last 4 years Strategic Insights for MNOs and Vendors into many aspects of Roaming and Interconnect, including VoLTE Roaming, EU Roaming Regulation Strategy, A2P SMS Messaging, SMS Firewall and IPX Networks. ROCCO conducts Research with over 500 MNOs annually on hot topics but also provides an Insight Community to Vendors on how Products and Services they might offer into the market, including Brand Tracker projects and Brand Awareness projects.

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