Accounting for 40 per cent of total roaming revs.
Many people dread turning their phones on when they travel abroad for fear of horrific bills, but Juniper Research predicts that mobile data roaming revs will rise by 21 per cent a year between 2012 and 2017 to reach more than $35bn by 2017.
This will be driven by the rise of people that own smartphones, with operators offering controlled data allowance packages when overseas to enable web browsing and the like without overspending.
Data is set to account for 40 per cent of total roaming revs, thouugh the majority of mobile customers use voice services when overseas which inhibits networks from offering much value, whereas non-data roamers have been converted into active users due to data roaming bundles.
The report claims 'silent data roamers' – those not using data when abroad – still fear bill shock, exercising caution to avoid using voice and data services when out of the country.
Nitin Bhas, report author, Juniper Research, said: "As data roaming costs are further reduced and smartphone owners find so-called OTT (Over-the-Top) services – such as eBuddy and Whatsapp – a cheaper alternative, the average spend per SMS roaming will decline over the forecast period."
Meanwhile, total mobile roaming revs are set to pass $80bn by 2017, compared to 46 per cent in 2012, with Western Europe driving the majority of data roaming revs.