Mobile Usage in Neighboring Countries Increases by Tens of Folds Due to Changes in Roaming Charges
After mobile data rates in the Nordic and Baltic countries decreased to the same level as domestic rates for Estonians consumers, mobile data usage in these countries has increased dramatically.
In 2016, roaming rates have dropped a lot for Estonian consumers. This has resulted in a remarkable increase in mobile data and voice services abroad.
In January, Telia’s Mobile Life plan subscribers were given an option to use their mobile data allowance also in the Nordic and Baltic countries (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania). This means that Estonian rates and terms apply to mobile data usage in these countries, and there are no additional roaming charges. This has had a remarkable effect on mobile data usage which has increased by 33-fold in these regions.
At the same time, EU roaming regulation has decreased roaming rates in the rest of Europe by 75%, and thus, overall mobile data usage has increased as well, because consumers no longer have to worry about large bills when surfing the web on the phone. In short time, the number of consumers who use mobile data abroad has increased by 20%.
“Ease of mobile data use is important regardless of user’s location – we all would like to chat with our friends while lying on the beach in Spain, and we do not want to search for free WiFi or ask for WiFi access from a nearby beach bar. Roaming offers are designed to give people freedom to use mobile services across EU just as they do it in Estonia,“ said Helve Rammul, Service Manager at Telia Eesti AS.
In March, domestic rates were applied to roaming voice services as well, and voice services usage has also increased since then, but it’s not quite comparable to the 33-fold increase in data usage.
On June 15, Telia increased mobile data allowance in the US by 2.5-fold from 400 MB to 1 GB per week. Since then, the number of Estonian mobile data users in the US has doubled.