Roamers Use Data More Than Voice, MACH Traffic Analysis Demonstrates

Tuesday 20 Sep 2011 | Member Press Release |

Global mobile data download volumes increase by 97 per cent year-on-year

MACH, the leading provider of hub-based mobile communication solutions, has today announced key findings from its global mobile roaming traffic analysis. Data consumption and data sessions have shown rapid year-on-year growth (97 per cent and 69 per cent respectively [1]), for the first time exceeding voice traffic volumes for roaming sessions. In contrast to the rise of mobile data traffic, voice traffic growth is flat across the period.

Artur Michalczyk, Chief Product Officer, MACH, commented: “These results clearly show how the evolution of smarter mobile devices is changing how we communicate when travelling. The decline in the popularity of voice speaks to the rise of alternative, yet immediate, communications platforms such as instant messaging and social networking, while SMS and email have continued to erode the volumes of voice traffic for roaming sessions. The huge increase in download volumes also demonstrates just how popular apps are becoming, with consumers wishing to download and interact with them even while abroad.”

The roaming traffic analysis shows that while data sessions are also growing, they are doing so at a slower rate than data consumption. This is most likely because smartphones and tablet devices are designed to connect once and then stay connected, whereas traditional handsets connect each time the user requests an action. SMS traffic volumes, meanwhile, have continued to grow (by 23 per cent), illustrating the continued popularity of this communication channel.

Michalczyk concluded: “Our analysis shows that roaming subscribers are using double the data that they were using a year ago. However, it is worth noting that users in their home networks consume 300 times the data that they do when they are abroad. For the industry there is enormous potential in removing this disparity and empowering users to roam without boundaries. This can only be achieved by providing pricing choice and transparency to the user, so removing the current issue of ‘bill-shock’.”

Solutions, such as MACH’s Data Roaming Engine, are now available to introduce service-based pricing which allows users to sign up for the services that they want at a transparent price. This approach also prevents background data consumption – caused by apps continuously communicating with the ‘cloud’ – driving up users’ phone bills, which is becoming an increasing problem for subscribers.


About MACH

MACH connects and monetizes the telecom world. It provides its 650 operator customers with roaming, interconnect, messaging, and direct billing solutions, all integrated with its $10bn / year operator settlement capability. It is the largest provider of data and financial clearing solutions for wireless roaming and operates the globe’s largest and fastest growing open connectivity roaming hub, Link2One. It inserts the operator in the content and application value chain and serves the reseller and wholesaler community with its A2P messaging solutions. Headquartered in Luxembourg, MACH has offices in 12 countries and employs more than 1,000 people worldwide. Its customers include Orange, Telefonica, T-Mobile, Telus, Verizon Wireless and Microsoft, as well as enterprise messaging customers like KLM. For more information, visit


Eileen Preston, Global PR Manager, +44 0207 959 8119

[1] Year-on-year growth up to April 2011

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article/press release are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the approved policy or position of the GSMA or its subsidiaries.