Laptop and smartphone users in the European Union are able to benefit from increasingly attractive roaming prices, according to data collected from 101 mobile operator websites from the period 6-10 June 2011.
The GSMA's Data Roaming Price Basket Index, released today, tracks market movements in data roaming prices as offers are constantly revised and new ones are launched. It takes the best deals by operator and by market and translates these into per MB prices for a range of different user profiles. For example, the June Index illustrates that the European average of best available postpaid tariffs is less than a euro per MB (euro 0.94) for a medium usage 10MB basket(1).
The Index will be published every two months to provide EU legislators with a current snapshot of dynamism and pricing innovation in the retail data roaming market. That dynamism is reflected in the latest figures, which show the average of each operator's best data roaming tariffs dropped almost 20% between April and June. The increasing variety of differently structured offers is also a strong indicator of a market that is competitive, growing fast and finding its feet.
"The Index will provide legislators and regulators with a 'look forward' complement to BEREC's six-month retrospective reports(2)," said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. "It underscores the current market trends that will feed through into the offers that consumers will enjoy tomorrow."
Further highlights from the research, which was undertaken for the GSMA by A.T. Kearney, the global management consultancy, include:
* For 5, 10 and 50MB usage baskets, postpaid prices now average between euro 0.69-1.19 per MB and prepaid prices now average between euro 1.47-1.66 per MB.
* The average heavy user, who is most likely to shop around for the best deal, can get 100MB of roaming data allowance for euro 0.45 per MB with the best available tariff.
"Demand for mobile data services abroad is soaring as consumers look to enjoy the convenience of mobile broadband when they travel. These price movements are good news for consumers and evidence that operators in this fast-growing, innovative market are increasingly responsive to consumer demand for value," continued Phillips.
In developing the Data Roaming Price Basket Index, A.T. Kearney undertook the following approach:
* Data was collected from tariffs available at 90 operators' websites from 28 March to 6 April 2011 and at 101 operator websites from 6 to 10 June 2011;
* The exercise identified 223 and 293 different mobile/smartphone data roaming tariffs for April and June;
* Operators from the 27 EU member states were included in the April Index, with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland also included in the June Index;
* A basket approach was followed to determine the resulting price per MB;
* Three baskets, chosen to reflect the user profiles of different data roaming users were selected to illustrate the results (5MB, 10MB and 50MB);
* The price per MB was calculated taking into consideration the full price of the bundle if the basket is smaller than the bundle available;
* For each country, and for each usage case, the following were identified:
o The lowest available price per MB based on the best tariff from a single operator;
o The best average price per MB based on a weighted average price of the lowest price tariff for each operator (weighted by each operator's market share).
EU/EEA prices for each use case were then aggregated by weighting the average prices per country with the number of national mobile subscriptions. The full methodology and underlying data are available at