|By Business Wire||
|August 6, 2013 09:03 AM EDT||
Syniverse today revealed that European smartphone and non-smartphone owners behave in remarkably similar ways when traveling. The findings come from a survey conducted for Syniverse by Nielsen, which demonstrates that top-of-the-line smartphones become little more than feature phones when taken outside their home country.
In the study of roaming habits among 13,000 mobile users in 13 European countries, respondents were asked to rate the importance of key services from basic voice and text to sophisticated mobile data services and video calling. Both smartphone and non-smartphone users ranked text messaging highest, followed by voice calling – both of which came in significantly ahead of other services.
Despite the wealth of services mobile operators offer to smartphone users, consumers still only use the most basic functionality when roaming. Survey responses suggest that concern over “bill shock” leads consumers to effectively “downgrade” their smartphones by switching off mobile data capabilities when they touch down abroad.
The findings also show that 65 percent of respondents use less than 30 minutes of voice per day while roaming, and consistently more than 50 percent of people who travel and use their personal phone abroad said they do not use data.
“The smartphone should be the roamer’s best friend, providing access to tools that enrich the travel experience,” said Mary Clark, Senior Vice President, Roaming, Syniverse. “Concerns regarding bill shock have a dramatic and unacceptable impact on behavior, which prevents consumers from taking full advantage of their mobile capabilities and service providers from growing their businesses.”
In February, Syniverse revealed that global mobile consumers spent more than $17 billion in 2012 on alternative roaming connectivity options, such as Wi-Fi and in-country SIMs, rather than relying on traditional roaming services via their home operators. To help operators regain subscriber trust and loyalty while roaming, Syniverse offers a range of Real-Time Intelligence solutions that enable mobile service providers to deliver exceptional end-user experiences on both home and visited networks.
“Some operators are actually telling their subscribers to turn off data while traveling for fear a user’s lack of visibility into usage could lead to bill shock and result in damage to the operator’s brand,” Clark said. “With access to instantaneous information about end-user experiences on visited networks, mobile service providers can engage their customers as soon as they land in a foreign country with personalized offers to entice travelers to continue to use mobile while also proactively monitoring quality of experience."
Syniverse’s more than 25 years of roaming experience will become even more critical as it helps customers navigate new ecosystem challenges, such as European Union (EU) roaming regulations that impose new requirements on operators and dramatically alter the competitive landscape. Syniverse has solutions available that help ensure compliance with the regulations from a technical perspective while also providing greater insight into end-user experiences that ultimately allows mobile service providers to personalize each user’s experience and proactively resolve issues.
“With seismic shifts in EU roaming regulation coming into effect next year, it is imperative that operators regain traveler trust now to be in the best competitive position by July 1, 2014, when these regulations become a reality,” Clark said. “With better communication, greater transparency and superior service, mobile service providers can give smartphone users the confidence and the desire to use their phones wherever they travel.”
For more information on Syniverse’s Real-Time Intelligence solutions, visit www.syniverse.com/rti.
Syniverse makes mobile work for the entire mobile ecosystem, including more than 1,500 mobile service providers, enterprises, ISPs and app providers in nearly 200 countries and territories. We deliver innovative cloud-based solutions that ensure superior end-user experiences through always-on services and real-time engagement. For more than 25 years, Syniverse has been simplifying complexity to deliver the promise of mobility – a simple, interoperable experience, anytime, anywhere. For more information, visit www.syniverse.com, find Syniverse on Facebook or follow Syniverse on Twitter.