Friday, January 23, 2015

With the holiday period behind us, we decided to analyze how usage patterns of customers travelling abroad changed this season. One key trend we witnessed was an overall lower usage of voice and SMS in international roaming, which was driven mainly by a fall in the number of Russian tourists traveling abroad. Nevertheless, overall usage of mobile data increased due to the greater adoption of smartphones and more frequent utilization of tariffs that provide a fixed price per day, which allows subscribers to better control data roaming expenses.


We compared usage trends when roaming from 15th December 2014 to 15th January 2015 to the same period last year.  During this period, the number of international roamers declined by 25%, the volume of calls decreased by 26% and the volume of sent SMS fell by 28%.  At the same time, the number of smartphones used in the roaming abroad grew 1.5 times and the volume of the roaming data traffic increased by 23%.  Likely, this implies a greater usage of social media and OTT solutions at the expense of voice and messaging services, a trend we see both at home and abroad.


Those who travelled abroad actually broadened their Internet usage from essential browsing (e.g. maps, tourist guides and email) to more traffic-intensive use of social media and entertainment sites. The proportion of Internet traffic for social purposes during this time almost matched essential browsing traffic, reaching 30% and 35% respectively. This is another illustration of how social media use on smartphones is moving deeper into our customer segments regardless of their location.


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